About 50 international students mingled with fire fighters and police officers including Victoria Police Commissioner Simon Overland and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andrew Zammit for a cricket match to promote safety at Victoria University's Footscray Park campus today.
The game was organised by Victoria University International, Victoria University students from Cricket Victoria's Sports Development Program and Cricket Victoria as part of the Harmony Cricket initiative promoting goodwill among people from diverse backgrounds.
Commissioner Overland was not the only star attraction. He was joined by George, the icon character who is the face of the Think Before campaign promoting student safety online, and in social media networks.
George proved himself something of an all-rounder, managing to bowl Overland out with a medium pacer on middle stump.
After leaving the crease Commissioner Overland said he was impressed by the efforts of students and staff at Victoria University to help police and fire authorities promote the Think Before campaign.
"Think Before has been a fantastic campaign," he said. We've been working with Victoria University and international students on this for some time now and it's come together well.
"The approach of this campaign has been a little bit different to others. It's been more about getting the tertiary education sector involved so we have some clear and consistent messages that are applicable to all students and all institutions across the country. And all the signs are that it's being well received."
Associate Director International Student Support at VU, Danielle Hartridge, has been on of the key people involved in getting the campaign going through her role as president of ISANA: International Education Association.
"What makes this campaign so different is that its focus is social media and peer networking," she said.
"It's designed around the animated character George so that international students can relate to George and his life via social media and other forms of technology. "Students don't want to receive information from staff – they want to get it from their peers, which is why we developed safety messages in this way, so that they can be shared via an animated character that students relate to.
"The next stage of the campaign will be to create some messages on fire safety and beach safety and begin rolling them out in a similar way."
For more information on the Think Before campaign.