Eager to learn – my unforgettable experience

CQUniversity Shane D'Silva

Hello, my name is Shane D’Silva and I am in my final term of the Master of Information Technology at CQUniversity Melbourne campus.

The past two years has truly been a fast-paced, mind-blowing experience. By blood, I hail from India. However, I have lived in Kuwait for almost 18 years.

I spent two years in Dubai as well as another couple of years in Qatar. I am truly grateful for my father who continues to work so hard to have provided our family with the opportunity to experience life in those countries.

When I was younger, I had always wanted to study abroad in America, Canada, UK or Australia. However, I was presented an opportunity to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering at one of India’s most prestigious private university, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

I completed my studies and then set my sights on being able to start my life abroad. I went through days after days, agents after agents conducting tedious research into universities all over the world to pursue my master’s degree.

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Advance Queensland Indigenous Pathways VET Scholarship Program scholar’s give thanks

After being awarded an Advance Queensland Indigenous Pathways VET Scholarship in Term 1 2020, we hear from Tayla, John, Maree, Siobahn and Rebecca on the impact their scholarship is having on their education, plans for the future and pass on their thanks and gratitude to their generous scholarship donor, Advance Queensland and the Department of Innovation, Queensland Government. With Term 2 scholarships now open (many closing 12 June), all scholars share some great advice for other students thinking about applying.

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My internship during COVID-19

Hello, my name is Orville D’Silva, but most people call me Shane. Ever since I was introduced to coding back in my high school days, I always had a keen interest in web and mobile programming. Thus, I chose to pursue a degree in the Master of Information Technology majoring in Mobile Application Development.

The course contains a lot of essential units you would need as a future web / mobile app developer. Some of these are Responsive Web Design, Database Design, Information Systems, Project Management, Mobile App Development and many more interesting units.

If web dev or mobile app dev isn’t your forte, you have the choice to specialise in Software Design and Development or Network and Information Security and choose electives from a long list of cool units.

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Studying in the Pacific – a new adventure at every turn

The Pacific is an incredibly diverse place. New Caledonia, situated within Melanesia, comprises of appropriately a 40% indigenous Kanak community, 29% European, around 9% from Wallis and Futuna, with the remaining from Tahiti, Indonesia, Vietnam, Vanuatu and various other Asian and Pacific island nations.

Earlier this month, I experienced my first cyclone whilst living abroad. It was an interesting experience receiving all the emergency alerts in French. You quickly learn how important it is to have a grasp on the French language to get around! Fortunately, cyclone Uesi passed over Nouméa with very minimal damage and just some much-needed rain.

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Arriving in New Caledonia

I touched down in Nouméa, New Caledonia, late on the evening of January 5, 2020, for an adventure of a lifetime. I was excited to be moving overseas, although somewhat scared, especially at the age of 18. However, I knew this exchange would be an amazing opportunity to grow and develop, as well as improve my French!

I am here to study, intern and undertake language training for 19 months, thanks to the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Continue reading Arriving in New Caledonia

From Fiji to Rockhampton – how the Australia Awards Scholarship changed my life

Hi, my name is Shivaali Vanshika. I was born and brought up in Rakiraki, Fiji. In 2018 I was awarded the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Bachelor of Podiatry Practice (Honours) at CQUniversity.

Continue reading From Fiji to Rockhampton – how the Australia Awards Scholarship changed my life

Coming home from Ashoka U – Change Champs reflect on their experience

From 20-23 February, students and staff from CQUniversity were invited to attend the Ashoka U Exchange in San Diego, California. The event brought together Changemaker Campuses from all over the world and provided the opportunity to learn, collaborate and network with people passionate about social innovation. Four of our Change Champ’s – Mignon, Rohit, Bikesh and Tolu – were among the students who represented CQUniversity at the conference and are excited to bring their new-found knowledge and experience back to their campus and share it with fellow students.

Mackay Change Champ, Mignon, was excited to attend the Exchange where she could further learn changemaker competencies of empathy, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and systems thinking.

“We had options to attend either interactive spark sessions, workshops or big idea talks/presentations. There were also site visits to local social enterprises and organisations committing to social innovation and research as well as tours of the University of California San Diego Campus,” she said.

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Tolu Akinsheye and Mignon Viljoen attend the Opening Keynote Presentation

The sessions they attended introduced new strategies and tools to activate changemaking not only in their personal life but in their studies and future career too. Melbourne Change Champ, Rohit, said that one of the best sessions was about changemaking through online education.

“Robin Dick (Program Manager for Social Innovation) spoke about iChange and his co-presenters explained how to bring the classroom format online, thereby making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection and is the format for the future of education,” he said.

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CQUniversity Deans of Schools and Office of Social Innovation connect with students over breakfast

Other sessions included hearing from people about their changemaker journey, their experience in setting up social enterprise and social innovation hubs for students at universities, as well as how individuals can make commitments to activate more changemakers. The students also took a tour of the University of California San Diego campus – a Changemaker Campus committed to social innovation just like us!

One thing that stuck with Brisbane Change Champ, Tolu, was realising there is a difference between reading the story and changing it.

“I am more inspired and committed to social innovation in ensuring we make the world a better place,” she said.

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Office of Social Innovation support Ashley Clarke (second from right) after her presentation

Sydney Change Champ, Bikesh, wanted to see the bigger picture of social innovation and learn about what is happening around the world.

“I gained a lot of ideas and tools in the conference and I have been thinking about how can I utilise them in my campus or in my life,” he said.

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Bikesh Shrestha, Rhianna Wood, Tolu Akinsheye and Mignon Viljoen take a tour of the University of California, San Diego

With CQUniversity being the only Australian university accredited as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, the event also gave students the opportunity to see international examples of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. They were able to see for themselves just how much is already being done around the world and the positive social impact it is having on local and global communities. They were able to see inspiring, real-life examples of social innovation being used in different fields of study and how they can potentially do the same in their career.

Although the Change Champs were sad to be leaving Ashoka after having made new friends and connections with people who share our same passion for change, as well as hearing from so many inspiring social entrepreneurs and innovators, they were excited to bring all of this knowledge and new skills back to Australia to encourage more people to start their changemaker journey and realise just how many opportunities there are for change!

To check out more photos from Ashoka or to get involved in social innovation events and activities on your campus, like and follow us on Facebook!