How volunteering enhanced my study experience: Meet Nilesh
During his time at CDU, Nilesh has been recognised for his outstanding academic achievement twice. But it was the volunteering opportunities offered by CDU that fulfilled him the most.
Volunteering has been shown to be hugely beneficial to university students, both socially and professionally. Nilesh's story is evidence of this.
In Nilesh's first year of a Bachelor of Accounting at CDU, he took on the voluntary role of booking officer for the CDU Students' Association (CDUSA); just one of many volunteer opportunities open to students.
Later, he would go on to hold the interim president role of the CDU Students' Council and be president of the CDU Business Students' Association and elected board member for the university's Academic Board and Higher Education Teaching and Learning Committee.
Volunteering for community connection
While Nilesh sees the personal development benefits of this voluntary work, it is connecting to the CDU community that drives him.
"Meeting students from different cultural backgrounds and helping them to adapt to university and life in the Territory excites me a lot, says Nilesh.
CDU student groups, the student ambassador program and non-profit organisations are some of the many options available for university students to volunteer and get engaged with the local community and other students."
Other opportunities to connect through volunteering come in all shapes and sizes at CDU. Well-known volunteer opportunities, including the Australian Red Cross, Volunteering NT, Kindness Shake and Foodbank, give students the chance to contribute to their community and grow their networks.
Volunteering for professional development
In the many roles he has held, Nilesh has helped initiate successful collaborations with CPA Australia, CA ANZ, Ward Keller, Headspace and other industry leaders to deliver student wellbeing projects.
"Student wellbeing is very important to me. That’s why I started the ‘Be Local and Buy Local’ initiative to connect local vendors and students."
Be Local and Buy Local is a landmark initiative, encouraging 24 local businesses in Darwin to launch exclusive student discounts and offers for students studying at education institutions based in Northern Territory.
Nilesh's eagerness to give back doesn't stop there. He is an Ambassador for CDU and Study NT, a Northern Territory Student Ambassador for CPA Australia and established the Sri Lankan Students' Association. These opportunities might not have been as accessible if it weren't for CDU.
"I study at a university, where impossible is possible. My university and the land of Larrakia is very close to my heart, and I strongly believe in the boundless possibilities of the Territory and Charles Darwin University."
Now finishing his studies, Nilesh reflects on his time in the Territory and all the opportunities CDU has afforded him.
"Tropical weather, astonishing sunsets and importantly kind local community make the Territory the best, and particularly CDU, as the best student-friendly university."
Take the next step in your career. Explore courses at CDU or contact Student Central find out about volunteering opportunities for CDU students.