The joy of volunteering: Farhana’s story
International student Farhana is a champion at helping people who are in need, whether that’s in the classroom or through invaluable volunteer work.
Throughout her life, her deep passions have always been education and social development. Thanks to her Master of Teaching at CDU, she has been able to blend the two together.
Experiencing the beauty of Australia
As an international student from Bangladesh, Farhana relocated from Melbourne to Darwin in 2020.
She chose to live in Darwin and study at CDU because she loves the balanced blend of natural beauty, a multicultural lifestyle, and boundless opportunities to progress in life.
The city’s fresh air and tropical climate reminds her of her hometown in Bangladesh.
Darwin has plenty of cultural, sporting, entertainment, accommodation and travel opportunities which made it ideal for me to live and study in the NT. As the city itself is quite compact, travelling around the places is much more convenient compared to Australia’s other cities.
"The land is home to a wealth of Indigenous culture as well," she says,
"Here, we celebrate cultural festivals, events, and the community work together which clearly reflects Darwin’s cultural richness."
Farhana has a wealth of experience in volunteer work. Her impressive contributions include UNICEF Australia, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), La Trobe University, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Transparency International and Amnesty International.
CDU has given her the opportunity to continue to give back.
“Apart from my studies, I am very passionate about community work or volunteering, especially helping the people who are underprivileged," she says.
"I firmly feel that kindness is an investment that always pays back dividends, not necessarily from the outside, but for my own peace of mind and soul.”
Giving back helped me get through some of the toughest times in lockdown.
While at CDU, Farhana has joined the Australian Red Cross Emergency Services Team, Food Bank NT and the CDU-supported Kindness Shake initiative, where students spent their free time giving out meals to international students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Getting involved in volunteering helped me not to feel isolated or homesick and make friends and good networks.
Improving education outcomes
Farhana dreams of being a secondary school teacher so that she can provide the next generation with a quality education.
"I have had a growing aspiration to work with young children and for that, I have always put my determination into improving the quality of less advantaged children’s lives," she says.
Farhana was selected as the recipient of the prestigious a Destination Australia Scholarship.
Shortly after, her voluntary efforts were recognised with the International House Darwin Community Scholarship, an award reserved for students who have demonstrated academic and community excellence.
These scholarships have not only been helping me enormously financially, but they have been making a great contribution to my academic performances at CDU.
"They also support me to engage more with community services and explore my potential as a teacher."