Be the change

From 6 – 8 August 2019, the Social Innovation team ran an amazing event at many CQUni campuses called the Festival of Change. The Festival provided an opportunity to understand current social challenges that we, as students, will face once we kick off our professional careers, and highlighted the actions we could all start performing immediately in order to change the society we live in today.

At the Melbourne campus, the Festival started with a warm inauguration led by the Social Innovation team. We then had the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the upcoming events and social challenges we would discuss.

On Tuesday afternoon, Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) presented a workshop on how human-centred design can help us face social challenges such as poverty.

Surprisingly for me, the programs lead by EWB are not only for engineers. People from any field of study could be able to join the programs and provide support to their initiatives. Personally, I had the opportunity to talk to Prince, our CQUni representative of EWB, and he would be so happy to support more students to join EWB. Interested students can join the program through this link which also offers a concession plan for students.

On Wednesday morning, the Student Life and Wellbeing team provided a Mindfulness session in order to increase the awareness of mental health and the benefits of meditation in our daily lives.

This session taught us breathing techniques and I found it surprising how just breathing helped me to settle down and feel more relaxed. Especially now, when I have been dealing with my Uni assessments. Thus, I will definitely continue controlling my breathing when stressed. I think it helps me to focus better and not feel overwhelmed in stressful situations.

The Ylab Think About It event brought in Ylab associates for an immersive workshop and finally, on Friday, the CEO of Second Bite performed a Lunch and Learn session.

CEO of Second Bite, Jim Mullan highlighted the sad facts about food waste, but also explained to us how his company is facing this social challenge looking for a second bite for food instead of wasting it. Second Bite collect food donated from restaurants, supermarkets and traditional markets such as Prahran Market and provide it to people in need.

You might be asking – how can I contribute to reduce the food waste issue? Jim said that it is pretty easy to contribute as we are all customers. We just need to avoid purchasing food we will not eat when grocery shopping and ordering at restaurants.

Furthermore, Jim encouraged students like us to follow our passions, commitments and purposes in order to achieve our career aspirations. You can become a Second Bite volunteer by visiting their website.

Thanks to the Festival of Change, I have developed awareness about the social issues of modern society, yet more importantly, I have gained knowledge about how to impact them to change the world for better.

Here are my top tips from the Festival of Change:

  • Be aware of social issues
  • Provide support to people and communities in need
  • Be mindful of your own mental wellbeing
  • Acquire only the amounts of food you will consume.

Be the change. Find out more about social innovation at CQUniversity.

Carlos Bravo is a current Master of Human Resource Management student and a member of the Social Squad – a group of content creators helping to promote student and campus life at CQUniversity.

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