Volunteer Stories

International students join festivities at this year’s Spring Fling

A small group of international students joined the festivities at the vibrant Spring Fling Festival in North Melbourne, through a partnership between Study Melbourne and Volunteering Victoria.

The partnership, Study Melbourne Live Volunteers is a year-long pilot project that aims to enhance the experience of international students through volunteering, and support volunteer involving organisations’ volunteer program diversity through education, awareness-raising and placements.

Held on 15 October, the Spring Fling Festival brings the streets of North Melbourne alive with pop up markets, street food, beer gardens, entertainment, the always adorable Spring Fling Dog Show.

The Festival is reliant on volunteers to help in a number of roles from crowd control to information points and it provided the perfect opportunity for some of Melbourne’s 175,000 international students to connect with their new community and find out more about the local area.

Three of the students that took part on the day were Yoke from Malaysia, Hteteieikhime from Burma and Doris from China. Between them they helped to keep people safe from passing trams and mapped out where visitors were from as part of Harmony Street.

Volunteering Victoria’s Community and Student Manager Sofie Anselmi enjoyed chatting to them about volunteering and what they hoped to get out of the experience as well as how we can make volunteering more inclusive for students like them.

“It’s invaluable to hear directly from students about the sorts of barriers they face to volunteering and how we can all work together to make volunteering more welcoming and inclusive,” said Sofie.

If you are an international student interested in becoming a volunteer, you can see current vacancies here.

If you are a volunteer involving organisation looking to host international students as volunteers please contact Volunteering Victoria at [email protected] or Tel: (03) 8327 8500.

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