Diversity Initiative Grants encourage individuals, groups or organisational Units at Flinders to advance cultural diversity and inclusive practices within our University community. They provide interested parties with a small sum of money to support the CDIP initiative and suport their activities in advancing cultural diversity at Flinders University.
For the purpose of these initiatives (and the Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Practice (CDIP Toolkit)) ‘cultural diversity’ relates to the cultural differences as reflected in the diverse ethnic, religious and language dimensions of all people in our community and ‘inclusive practice’ recognises the value of diversity as a resource that enriches our core activities.
Any funded initiative would ideally advance cultural diversity and/or inclusive practices within one of the core activity areas of the University – teaching & learning, research, leadership & administration or university community as identified in the CDIP Toolkit.
Examples of projects include, but are not limited to the following:
Develop / improve awareness materials
- Conduct a ‘diversity audit’ of a work / study area and display and promote the results.
- Write a new folio for the Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Practice Toolkit.
- Enhance the curriculum so that it is more inclusive – perhaps by providing an international perspective, or incorporating reflection on the use of language and how it can influence social norms and attitudes.
- Make an inclusive short film or promotional clip for your faculty that highlights diversity.
Arrange small discussion / special interest groups
- Develop a student volunteers group that helps with diverse community activities.
- Set up support networks eg; breastfeeding mothers on campus, students with disabilities, staff/students with various language or cultural origins, staff/students new to Australia.
- Coordinate an international student peer-mentoring program. It could train current students to be mentors for new international and/or Indigenous students to help them overcome culture shock.
- Hold conversation classes for staff, students and families for whom English is a second language.
- Improve study and social lives of people by building support networks through peer assisted study sessions.
- Start a newsletter that improves communication between diverse cultural groups – it may be electronic.
Coordinate an activity
- To promote cultural awareness and inclusiveness (eg during Reconciliation Week, multicultural week, Ramadan).
- Run a diversity stall or fair in conjunction with other faculties.
- Run a public lecture or series of lectures around issues relating to women, gender studies, Indigenous Australian people, fair treatment, equity, access and diversity.
- Organise a cultural diversity celebratory event and showcase a good practice example from your work area.
- Hold open forums in the Plaza to discuss topics such as religion, language, cultural issues – include guest speakers, and opportunities for questions.
- Celebrate a religious or cultural event that is unfamiliar to most people in your work place.
- Develop an appropriate outdoor area on campus into an Indigenous (Kaurna) meeting / reflection place – include some information about the site on a permanent sign.
- Organise a ‘Diversity’ poster, art exhibition or window display competition offering incentives.
- Develop a scheme to improve promotional and leadership outcomes for women born outside Australia.
- Arrange for staff to attend a conference relating to diversity and inclusiveness and report back to the work area.
Translation into eight different languages of a student support brochure that explains subtle aspects of the University culture to families of new students who have not been to a university in Australia.
Health & Counselling
Translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese.
A resource with strategies designed to assist the process of incorporating Indigenous perspectives into learning areas, and development of an Indigenous Education seminar
A resource containing relevant religious & religio-cultural information for staff and students
A mentoring program for international postgraduate students whose first language is not English to prepare research papers for conference presentation and publication in the peer-reviewed online International Education Journal.
Education, FUIIE, IEJ
|Cultural Inclusivity through Publishing|
A half-day interactive workshop jointly run by local community multicultural forum and FU Rural Clinical School, Renmark for 3rd year medical students.
School of Medicine
Repeated exploratory workshops designed to enhance relationships between International and domestic students – relevant across disciplines.
Speech Path & Audiology
Support for Assemblage and a‘Come & Try’ component Healthy Eating Around the World.
FISA / Health & Counselling
“Beyond mere presence – making diversity work”. Exploring learning experiences of and develop tailored learning supports for social work international students and make relevant for other disciplines.
Social Admin & Social Work
Principal applicant and Faculty
'English for Science' Peer-assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
In this project native English speaking students acted as session leaders to new International Masters students in a range of activities revolving around reading, listening to, discussing & writing about scientific material drawn from the life sciences. Material consisted of contemporary issues and scientific controversies from the disciplines the students are studying in order to stimulate discussion. This project increased willingness by staff exposed to the project to purposefully construct situations whereby domestic and international students interact in the classroom.
The project resulted in an international journal publication - Schmidt, L. & Miller, J. (2009) ‘Peer Assisted Study Sessions to Facilitate Transition for International Students’, The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations, Vol.9, No. 5, pp.13-29 (PDF 1MB)
An exploration of the challenges faced by African refugee students and their teachers at Flinders University
This project identified the challenges students with refugee backgrounds from Africa face at University, and assessed the strategies and services in place to respond to those challenges. Focus group interviews with 20 students and 10 academic staff were conducted, exploring their experiences with learning and teaching. This gave the students the opportunity to highlight any issues or difficulties they were facing at Flinders, and also gave the staff the opportunity to share their strategies and/or concerns. The main outcome of this project was a better understanding of the specific difficulties African refugee students face and recommendations on the best ways of overcoming these. For more information refer to the Report (DOC 31KB) .
The project also resulted in an international conference presentation and journal publication - Harris, V. and Marlowe, J. (2011) 'Hard Yards and High Hopes: The Education Challenges of African Refugee University Students in Australia' The International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vol.23, No.2, pp.186-196 (PDF 296KB)
'Global Linkages' - Linking Social Work Students with International Social Work Practice
This project will bridge the dissonance between the Australian experience and social work practice in students’ home countries.
Carol Irizarry & Lorna Hallahan