E-news Issue 6
Monday, 09 August 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
CDU Women’s Collective members Sara Kena, Aiswarya Ray, Stella Wingti and Alina Biju show off their self-defence moves.
CDU Women’s Collective members Sara Kena, Aiswarya Ray, Stella Wingti and Alina Biju show off their self-defence moves.

Empowering students through self-defence

The Women’s Collective is a new group founded by Charles Darwin University (CDU) students to support women to upskill and develop confidence. They offer classes in sexual health and self-defence.

“We wanted to help educate students on conflict resolution and what to do in situations when they feel unsafe,” co-founder and CDU biomedical science student Alina Biju said.

“This is a safe place for women to come together, where students can meet each other and make friends, learn something new, help keep themselves safe and become more confident.”

The self-defence classes, attended by both women and men, are instructed by professional karate trainers on CDU’s Casuarina Campus.

Another key focus of the Women’s Collective is women in leadership, as they believe currently there are not enough women in senior leadership positions.

“We want to focus on building industrial leadership among women through mentoring programs and networking events,” Ms Biju said.

Since its launch on International Women’s Day this year, the CDU Women’s Collective has attracted more than 80 registered members. The group was formed to promote gender equality, focusing on topics such as women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEM) and professional development.

Last month the Women’s Collective joined forces with the CDU Students’ Council to co-host the CDU Social Innovation Challenge, with a focus on the theme of gender equality.

They brought forward initiatives include building a STEM academy for girls at CDU, where young schoolgirls could participate in STEM-related activities to spark their interest in pursuing a career.