Monday, April 27, 2015

CQUni responds to Nepalese earthquake disaster

CQUniversity welcomes students and staff from all over the world. The rich infusion of different cultures and ideas is what makes ours such a vibrant and diverse university. And there are few countries, if any at all, that have the strength of ties with CQUniversity as Nepal. We count among our colleagues a number of staff originally from Nepal, including academics, researchers and professional staff. We have many business and philanthropic ties with Nepal as well, which sees us partner with a number of universities and hospitals/health clinics to provide research opportunities and unique student experiences. And we also host almost 700 Nepalese students at our Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Bundaberg and Rockhampton campuses.

Which is why it has been so heartbreaking to see the news reports of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake which devastated Nepal over the weekend. Oxfam are reporting that the current 2,500 death toll is ‘just the beginning’ of this unfolding catastrophe. Thousands more have been injured and countless scores have been left without shelter and other necessities.

Information is currently being circulated to our hundreds of Nepalese students about what support and assistance CQUniversity can provide in exceptional circumstances such as this. For our Nepalese staff, the University can assist with a range of support, leave and counselling measures.

CQUniversity’ s immediate response to this tragedy will be the provision of $10,000 worth of emergency shelter. This will be via the Rotary Club who have developed Rotary Shelter Boxes; self-contained temporary housing and disaster survival kits that will be sent to the worst-struck areas of Nepal, containing enough emergency shelter, food, first aid, health/hygiene disease prevention and water purification facilities to cater for large family groups. CQUniversity’s donation will provide 10 Shelter boxes for 100 people. Below is an overview of the contents of each Rotary Shelter Box.

There is still an enormous demand for more assistance. Can I encourage all staff and students to consider making a contribution towards additional Rotary Shelter Boxes. This is an extremely innovative, practical and rapid way of getting real help to those in desperate need. Donations can be made via direct deposit to the Rotary Sunrise Club BSB 034 210  Account Number 148076. Please add ‘UniNepal’ as your transaction reference. For a receipt please email a screenshot of your EFT transfer to

The Rotary Club of Rockhampton Sunrise will arrange the transport and logistics in dispatching these kits ASAP. Please give generously, if you can.

Finally, given the strong Nepalese community here at CQUniversity, most staff would know a colleague or student from Nepal. Please reach out to them and see if they are OK. I have heard a number of stories of students who have lost immediate family members, and many more unable to confirm the safety of other loved ones. I can only imagine how distressing it must be to be thousands of miles away from your home country watching the news reports of the devastation back home. 

Please know that you are not alone and that the whole CQUniversity community is thinking of you at this difficult time. 

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