Victoria University is an accessible and friendly university. We believe in embracing cultural difference – so we can be ourselves and feel empowered to achieve success.

We are proud to be one of the most culturally diverse universities in Australia. Our students and staff:

  • represent over 90 different cultures

  • speak over 200 different languages.

We share the belief that:

“Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights”

– UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Our strategy

We work with our students, staff and partners to promote a culturally inclusive environment.

Victoria University’s Cultural Diversity Strategy represents our global mindset to:

  • enrich the lives of our students, staff and the community
  • connect us all as a community dedicated to scholarship and active citizenship
  • celebrate the powerful benefits that cultural diversity provides.

Built on these principles, the strategy includes actions to:

  • provide intercultural training and mentoring for staff and students
  • build more culturally-inclusive physical spaces
  • develop more education pathways for Non-English-Speaking-Background students and refugees
  • connect international students more closely with curriculum and leadership
  • connect with community organisations around social cohesion and cultural awareness
  • strengthen research focused on community-building and intercultural engagement.

Read the full Cultural Diversity Strategy 2018-2021.

Cultural diversity at VU logo: enrich, celebrate, connect

Victorian Multicultural Commission Award

VU has won the Multicultural Business Award from the Victorian state government for our outstanding service to multicultural communities.

The formal recognition reaffirms our long-standing purpose to provide exceptional value for any student from any background while uplifting the many communities in which we operate.

It also points to VU’s incredibly diverse community that co-creates the sense of belonging and social cohesion that the University is well known for.

“Cultural diversity at VU is not just based on statistics – it has long been at the heart of the work we undertake each and every day with our students, colleagues, and the community.”

Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa De Fazio

The award highlights VU’s formal Cultural Diversity Strategy with its many initiatives that advance a rich diversity of perspectives.

Vice President of Planning Registrar Ms Teresa Tija, VC Professor Dawkins & Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa De Fazio

Events & community activities

Our students and staff are from a wide range of ethnic, linguistic and faith-based backgrounds.

We celebrate our cultural diversity through a range of events and activities, including:

Lunchtime seminars

Lunchtime seminars give VU staff and guests the opportunity to present ideas and research.

Diversity in higher education and the community can be discussed here in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

An example of this was the seminar 'A Double Whammy': What is it like to be a culturally diverse woman working in universities?, a discussion of unconscious bias in academia by Vice President of Planning Registrar Ms Teresa Tija; Associate Professor Nana Oishi; Siew Fang Law, Senior Lecturer, VU; Natalie Kon-Yu, Senior Lecturer, First Year College and author; and Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa Fazio.

For upcoming seminars check:

Speakers at a lunchtime seminar on women and diversity at universities.

Days of cultural significance 2019 calendar

The calendar below indicates some Days of Cultural Significance observed in 2019.

This Calendar is not an exhaustive list of dates, faiths or cultural entities. It's aim is to provide you an opportunity to understand the range of days of cultural significance, supporting an inclusive understanding of the many faiths, cultures and entities, and the observances followed. We encourage you to follow your curiosity, research other dates and learn as much as possible about the many days of cultural significance that are observed by various cultures. All due care has been taken to represent correct dates at the time of publication.

Please note that only St. Patrick's Day has been listed amongst the many Saint days, as the calendar provides only a general sense of the breadth and scope of days of significance. Also, no national days (independence, republic, etc.) have been listed.

January

February

  • 5 February: Lunar New Year
  • 15 February: Parinirvana Day
  • 20 February: World Day of Social Justice
  • 21 February: International Mother Language Day

March

  • 1 March: Zero Discrimination Day (UN)
  • 8 March: International Women’s Day
  • 21 March: Close the Gap Day
  • 17 March: St. Patrick’s Day
  • 20 March: International Day of Happiness (UN)
  • 20-21 March: Purim
  • 21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • 21 March: International Day of Nowruz
  • 21 March: Holi (Festival of Colours)
  • 17-25 March: Cultural Diversity Week

April

May

June

  • 3 June: Mabo Day
  • 4 June: Eid ul Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • 20 June: World Refugee Day
  • 16-22 June: Refugee Week

July

  • 7-14 July: NAIDOC Week
  • 14 July: Bastille Day
  • 18 July: Nelson Mandela International Day
  • 30 July: International Day of Friendship

August

  • 4 August: National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
  • 9 August: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
  • 12 August: Eid ul Adha
  • 19 August: World Humanitarian Day
  • 30 August: Wear It Purple Day

September

  • 1 September: Muharram/Islamic New Year
  • 9 September: Yom Kippur
  • 10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 12 September: R U OK? Day
  • 14 September: Mid Autumn Festival
  • 17 September: Australian Citizenship Day
  • 21 September: International Day of Peace
  • 21 September – 6 October: OktoberFest

October

  • 1 October: International Day of Older Persons
  • 5 October: World Teacher’s Day
  • 8 October: Dusshera
  • 10 October: World Mental Health Day
  • 19 October: Vijay Dashami (Dasera) (tbc)
  • 27 October (approx.): Diwali

November

  • 10 November: World Science Day for Peace and Development
  • 11 November: Remembrance Day (Australia)
  • 20 November: Universal Children’s Day
  • 25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • 28 November: World Day for Access to Higher Education

December

  • 3 December: International Day of People with a Disability
  • 10 December: International Human Rights Day
  • 18 December: International Migrants Day
  • 23 December: First Day of Hanukkah
  • 25 December: Christmas
  • 30 December: Last day of Hanukkah
  • 31 December: New Year’s Eve

Victoria University Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group

Victoria University is seeking to establish a VU Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group.

If you would like to be part of this group, we'd love to hear from you!

As part of the Cultural Diversity group, you'll get to help us develop student intercultural interactions and opportunities:

  • participate in university and community events
  • attend meetings
  • drive initiatives
  • network with like-minded students and staff.

This is a great way to get involved in your community and grow your understanding of different cultures, while making new friends who share your interests.

Let’s get together to make a difference and create a culturally inclusive VU!

Complete the expression of interest form

Make new friends and create a better community for all with the Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group.