October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, and UOW is proud to celebrate our globally diverse community.
The challenges of 2020 brought about by the global pandemic have reinforced the benefits that diversity brings to our University community, and to our work to serve students and communities.
Colleagues have relied on each other more than ever to deliver their work under challenging circumstances – collaborating to find solutions quickly in an ever-changing environment. The diversity of ideas, viewpoints, cultures and experiences have all contributed to enabling us to adapt and be successful in these extraordinary times.
This year has also been challenging for all of us personally. Through these challenges, you have supported each other, our students and community members, highlighting our values of mutual respect and diversity in action.
UOW was founded on the ideal of education for all and being a civic University. This spirit of inclusion continues in our vision for the future, embedded in our 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan as we aim to inspire a better future through education, research and partnership.
Our culture is based on our collective belief that quality learning should be accessible and that a broad range of perspectives and ideas brings the most significant benefits to our students and communities, our research outcomes, and our staff and stakeholders. UOW boasts staff from approximately 150 countries around the globe, award-winning gender equality initiatives and a strong Ally network to support our LGBTQI+ community.
We have much to celebrate, and our strong culture of diversity and inclusion will be pivotal in taking the University forward and leveraging the opportunities a changing world brings.
Upcoming cultural and religious celebrations
The remainder of October includes a number of cultural and religious events for some of our colleagues and we send best wishes for these celebrations.
Dussehra | 25 October
Dussehra is a major Hindu festival and marks the triumph of good over evil. The festival has different names in different parts of India, including Vijaydashami, Dasara or Dashain and lasts for ten days.
Celebrations are also different in each region and include towering effigies of Ravana, the demon king, constructed in fields and burned, along with the evil they represent, so the people are able to follow the path of virtue and goodness throughout the year. The festival also starts the preparations for Diwali, the festival of lights.
Milad Un Nabi (Mawlid) | 29 October
Celebrated by millions of Muslims around the world, Milad un Nabi (Mawlid) marks the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. There are diverse beliefs within the Mulsim community about how Muhammad’s birthday should be commemorated.
Many Muslims fast during daylight hours and may attend special prayer meetings or lectures on Muhammad’s life or Islam’s spiritual teachings. Homes and mosques are also decorated and some people donate food and other goods to charity. Muslim groups often hold a communal meal or celebration, modestly decorating the room with banners, flowers or balloons.
Halloween | 31 October
Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is the day before All Saints’ Day in the Christian calendar and begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and the faithful departed.
As you have probably observed, Halloween celebrations are growing in popularity in Australia, with dress-ups, Halloween parties and many children enjoying ‘trick-or-treating’.
Share your stories!
As we celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month and upcoming cultural and religious events, we would love you to share your stories, helping to continue to build awareness and connection between staff.
Post into the staff community webex chat:
- What key cultural or religious dates do you celebrate?
- What happens at this celebration to bring the community together?
- What is your favourite aspect of this event – e.g. the food, dancing, singing, traditions?
Share your photos too and we’ll also post collections regularly in Universe.