Victoria University is proud to be one of the most culturally diverse universities in Australia.

Our students and staff represent more than 90 different cultures and speak more than 200 different languages.

At VU we recognise that to feel a sense of belonging, every member of our community must be able to contribute and participate equitably in every aspect of university and TAFE life.

Through celebrations and events, in our places and spaces, and in the way we teach, learn and research, VU actively works to ensure that diverse voices are heard.

 Students and staff at the 2020 O-Fest Orientation at Footscray Park campus.

Cultural diversity campaigns at VU

VU is an ambassador organisation for the All One Together campaign to end racism.

Read our Vice Chancellor Adam Shoemaker’s statement.

Join the VU Cultural Inclusion Network of staff and students, to contribute to planning and projects that advance our cultural inclusion and racial equity.

To be added to the group:

VU is a pilot organisation in the Welcoming Universities project – an initiative of Welcoming Australia, aimed at creating national standards for cultural inclusion for the university sector.

We will also be one of the first universities benchmarked against the standards.

Our strategy

We work with our students, staff and partners to promote a culturally inclusive environment. We are currently working with a Cultural Inclusion Network of staff and students to draft a new Cultural Inclusion and Racial Equity plan for VU for 2023-2026.

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

All One Together: Anti-Racism Campaign

All One Together is an anti-racism project, led by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, which aims at supporting employers to improve their diversity and inclusion approaches at work.

People spend a lot of time in workplaces, and so facing racism and discrimination at work impacts people in big way.

VU, as an All One Together ambassador organisation has taken a public stance against racism by making a pledge and participating in actions as part of the campaign. 

VU Cultural Inclusion Advocates

We are very proud of our VU Cultural Inclusion Advocates. They have been nominated as passionate cultural diversity ‘enablers’ from their respective areas in the teaching, learning and library areas of the University, to support building a strong inclusive culture.

Joanna is a teacher in psychology, and also an early career researcher. She enjoys teaching the diverse group of students who attend Victoria University, and aims to be a good ally to students of all cultural backgrounds.

As someone whose research includes a focus on stigma (discrimination), she understands the need to provide extra support to ensure all people are on a level playing field at university. She aims to nurture the talents of undergraduates to help improve cultural diversity in academia, and the professional workforce more generally.

Jean comes from a culturally and linguistically diverse background and has a knowledge of cultural inclusion practices by working within a range of settings; for instance, teaching at an international school in the Middle East, at a disability service, with marginalised youth, or with refugee adolescent mothers. Her doctoral study and consequent research explore school culture and the too-often made assumptions that can cause barriers to constructive relationships. At Victoria University, Jean teaches and develops units and programs in support of cultural inclusion, as well as illuminating the complexities.

"I believe cultural diversity adds richness to any collective and should be respected, valued and reflexively considered throughout one's life. Who am I? Who are we? How can we be better?"

Horace was born overseas and grew up surrounded by many cultures, out of which many lasting friendships were made. Horace has been privileged to study in a multicultural diverse environment gaining an insight into how the others live, interact, assimilate and socialise.

"My current teaching profession enables me to impart life experiences as well as professional expertise to a whole spectrum of students from different cultural, social and economic backgrounds with a common goal to work hard and succeed. Cultural cohesion is a cornerstone to stability, mutual understanding and respect. I hope my participation will contribute to enhance cultural diversity at Victoria University."

Dr Nilufa Khanom is a career academic and researcher.

Before joining the Victoria University Business School (VUBS), she worked in the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the University of Canberra (UC) as an academic.

Dr Oksana Razoumova is a lecturer and the Course Chair in TESOL, with a background in Applied Linguistics. Her research interests are in second language curriculum design and pedagogy, contemporary TESOL practices and teacher professional learning and development.

Dr Jayce Naidoo is a senior lecturer at Victoria University Business School. He has held academic positions of Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in South Africa at University of South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology and Fort Cox College of Agriculture.

Daniel is a Senior Lecturer in the VU First Year College®, who coordinates and teaches units in community and international development, sociology, and the human services. He is passionate about teaching students from culturally diverse backgrounds, those who are first-in-family, and those from working-class backgrounds, and drawing upon the rich life experiences and cultural knowledge they bring to student-centred learning.

Professor Chris Walsh is the Dean and Chief Academic Officer of VU Online. In this role, he provides academic, administrative, research and marketing leadership to achieve VU’s Strategic Plan. Chris heads a portfolio of quality and assurance and has accountability for the superintendence of VU Online units, courses and programs. He is also responsible for the University’s academic governance, quality assurance and compliance standards, polices and processes are met throughout VU Online’s operations.

Sue Zoghaib is an Academic Teaching Scholar of Youth Work.

Carla’s overarching research and teaching focus on topics of sport pedagogy and social justice. Over the past seven years she has focused on understanding activist approaches within sporting contexts. Specifically, her line of research aims at co-creating a pedagogical model for working with youth from diverse backgrounds. The intent is to use sport as a vehicle for assisting youth to become critically aware of their communities’ social issues.

Meg is a former paramedic of Ambulance Victoria. In recent years, Meg has developed an interest in cardiac research, and more specifically in use of ambulance in acute coronary syndromes. She has a passion for research that aims to benefit marginalised groups such as culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

Jennifer is a librarian who has been at Victoria University for many years, enjoying working in an environment which is accepting of those from many different countries and cultures. Libraries are places of welcome, learning, and connection.

"We need to see each other as individuals showing respect and understanding of difference, and to provide spaces and opportunities for everyone to feel welcome."

Wayne Butson is the Executive Director, College of Pathways & Dual Sector Operations.

Wayne has worked with VU for 20 years and has held substantive roles as Head of School, Associate Director of Quality and Capability, Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Students, Dean of the Faculty of Workforce Development, and Dean of the College of English, Foundation and Pathways.

Hailing from multicultural Singapore, where he practised law for 14 years, Abdul Rahman scouted around before deciding to settle down in Melbourne in 2001 because of its vibrancy. He taught at Monash University and practised as a community legal centre lawyer where he encountered students and clients of diverse heritage, before joining Victoria University as a law lecturer in 2008. Malay by race and Muslim by faith, Abdul Rahman has a keen interest in comparative cultures and building bridges across different faiths, including non-religious creeds. He enjoys the even greater diversity at VU, which he reckons is one of the many pluses of the University.

Hao Shi was born and grew up in China. She obtained her bachelor degree in China before coming to Australia to complete her PhD. She has been in universities for nearly 30 years and interacting with students and staff from various ethnic, cultural, language, political and religious backgrounds.

As the course chair and site coordinator for China operations for the Bachelor of Information Technology, she has been heavily involved in cultural and international programs and witnessed the importance of diversity and inclusion.

"As a wife, a mother, a first generation migrant from Chinese background and a full-time academic, I am passionate about promoting multiculturality and improving equity."

Cultural Inclusion Advocates provide a unique opportunity for her to contribute to building a culture with zero tolerance towards bullying, harassment and discrimination, and creating an accepting, inclusive, and safe place for students and staff community.

Anthony is a passionate teacher and researcher, holding his doctorate for nearly 20 years. His research laboratory holds students from various cultural, political and religious backgrounds, including Muslim, atheist, Christian and Hindu.

“As a first generation, Catholic male from Italian background, a dad, and a full-time employee at Victoria University, I understand the importance of equity and diversity in our multicultural environment. I feel privileged to be part of this initiative to help cement the significance of cultural diversity, so we feel accepted, inclusive, safe, important, valued and heard. Personally, I promote a zero tolerance for discrimination and oppression, which will inevitably build a better and happier workplace.”

Dr Jean Hopman:

I believe cultural diversity adds richness to any collective.

 VU's computer science and engineering subjects shine in latest world rankings

Associate Professor Hao Shi:

I am passionate about promoting multiculturality and improving equity.

Welcoming Universities pilot project

Welcoming Universities is a new network to inspire and support universities to develop a culture and practice of welcome and inclusion within their institutions, in the community, and across the Australian higher education sector.

Victoria University is a member of the pilot working group for the project and will participate in developing national standards for cultural inclusion and welcome.

The initiative will build on the success and learnings of Welcoming Cities and enable Universities to benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion practices across their entire operation.

News & events

Events for & by our diverse community

Location: Online
1 Jan - 31 Dec (365 days)
Location: Online
1 Jan - 31 Dec (365 days)
Location: Online
16 Jan - 23 Jun (159 days)
Location: Online
29 Mar - 5 Jun (69 days)