Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brief stop in India to meet alumni and SBT kids

This time last week I was in India as part of a short trip overseas. I stopped in India on the way back from the Middle East to attend alumni events and to also visit the children at the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT). As always it was a great visit. India is a wonderful country.

It’s always inspiring to catch up with our Indian alumni as so many have gone on to achieve remarkable things and most importantly are now helping others to do the same. It’s also fantastic to hear about how proud they are to be an alumnus of CQUniversity and hear their stories of studying in Australia. It’s great to see this cohort is still so engaged with their university and even better that they have so many ideas in relation to our Strong to Great vision.

With CQUni Alumni

Whenever I visit India I also try to organise some time at the Salaam Baalak Trust. CQUniversity has a long running partnership with SBT and we are proud to support the work they do, giving some of Delhi’s most disadvantaged children a new life. CQUniversity contributes financially to the Trust and also sponsors the SBT City Walk program run by some of the Trust’s older children. Along with this we also fund a number of scholarships for SBT students to attend university in India – something that is life changing for the recipients. Hearing about their study success is always a highlight!

The Salaam Baalak Trust also changes the lives of other students as well – those of our students who visit during study tours. Each year groups of education and nursing students travel to India to work with the staff and children at SBT and all of them say how the trip not just enriched their learning experience but so too changed their lives.

With the amazing children at SBT

Currently, another group of CQUniversity students (engineers) are also in India as part of an Engineers Without Borders tour. The tour is made up of 45 students from universities across Australia and 17 of these students are studying engineering at CQUni. This opportunity sounds incredible as they will be working with community leaders in Pune (near Mumbai) to identify community challenges and design solutions for them. At the end of two weeks they will deliver these solutions back to the community. The whole experience is based on human centred design and will focus heavily on social innovation. I would have loved to join them, even for just a few days to share this experience but unfortunately time didn’t permit.  Fortunately, our university photographer and cameraman is touring with them though so in a few weeks I should be able to share some great photos and footage of this.

I think it’s so great that before the study year even begins some of our students are already discovering the world and finding ways to make a positive difference. Looking forward to hearing their stories and seeing the images. 

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