Charles Darwin University (CDU) sponsored the Kindness Festival held at Darwin Waterfront on Saturday, 31 July to celebrate the Northern Territory’s international students and multicultural community.
The Kindness Festival is organised by community organisation Kindness Shake, an initiative started by a group of CDU students and graduates and members of the international community in Darwin.
More than 4000 people attended the festival to enjoy 30 multicultural performances, food stalls, games and community stalls.
According to Kindness Shake, 26 out of its 30 members and the majority of the 80 volunteers for the festival are current or past CDU students. CDU has roughly 2,000 international students who are valued members of the CDU and Northern Territory community.
CDU Global Director Joanne Chrystal said CDU supported the event to celebrate diversity and its international student community.
“The Kindness Festival is a day to celebrate diversity and all of the international students in Darwin, who are valued members of the community,” Ms Chrystal said.
Ms Chrystal also said COVID-19 had significantly impacted international students at the University and CDU has supported students providing free meals, hardship grants and other services.
“COVID-19 has been a challenging time, particularly for our international students who are far away from their homes and families,” she said.
“CDU has been providing financial and personal support to students and we will continue to do everything we can to help our students during this difficult time.”
Ben Poveda-Alfonso, Kindness Shake co-founder and a CDU alumnus, said CDU’s support had been important to the organisation’s ongoing initiatives to benefit the local community.
“It was about time for the Northern Territory to experience first-hand the incredible talents and rich cultures that international students bring to Australia,” Mr Poveda-Alfonso said.
“This will be an eye-opener for Territorians to support and continue showing empathy and appreciation towards this great community that has, is and will keep doing its bit to embrace diversity and social inclusion.”