Inclusion, diversity and respect – these are some of the values Damilare Shodimu (pictured far left) has applied from his studies at Victoria University (VU) to his role as a youth worker.
The Nigerian born former international student completed VU’s Master of International Community Development in 2017 before going on to study social work, leading him to his current position at Life Without Barriers, a not-for-profit Australian social purpose organisation.
“Reflective practice, teamwork, respect for diversity and inclusion, alongside many other theoretical and practical skills, have been very useful in the roles I have worked in thus far,” Damilare says.
During his time at VU, Damilare took part in a leadership program run by refugee and migrant support organisation AMES Australia, learning fundamental skills and techniques in the prevention of violence against women (PVAW).
“In my work roles I am constantly faced with people who are in or have suffered violent and unhealthy relationships.
"The leadership program prepared me to work with these people, give relevant information and referral to specialist organisations in the field.
"The confidence of people to trust me with their traumatic experiences is down to the blessing of learning emotional intelligence in the PVAW program.”
Having also volunteered at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Damilare says volunteering is “definitely something to consider as an international student”.
“You learn lots of skills and constructive feedback in volunteering roles."
"As an international student, it’s particularly great for networking and immersing oneself in the work culture in Australia.”
In his recommendation of VU to prospective international students, Damilare says “VU offers the best of educational services” with a focus on student welfare.
“I found VU to have academic staff members from diverse backgrounds so they are able to offer more decolonised perspectives on social issues. The fees are also affordable without compromising on quality.”