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Faculty of Science and Technology

ACCEPT diversity and inclusion

Acknowledge, Associate, Appreciate, Regard, Respect and Thrive (ACCEPT).


Our team aims to support students with diverse backgrounds to achieve their goals.

Who are ACCEPT?

We recognise the value of diversity and inclusion and are committed to promoting this in our community through awareness, education and targeted programs and initiatives.

Our ACCEPT team comprises both student ambassadors and staff committee members who are from different backgrounds and cultures and represent the diversity of our Faculty  across the following pillars:

  • First Nations
  • women
  • cultural and linguistic diversity
  • disability
  • parents and carers
  • generational diversity.

    Find out more about the ACCEPT pillars

    First Nations

    The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the Darwin region.

    Our country runs from Cox peninsula in the west to Gunn Point in the north, Adelaide River in the east and down to the Manton Dam area southwards.

    Our First Nations Student Services provides multi-layered student support to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in achieving their tertiary educational goals.

    We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students all over Australia. To ensure your inquiry is answered quickly and by the most appropriate team member, please contact 08 8946 6479.

    The College of Engineering IT and Environment Network of Indigenous Partnerships also provides support to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander members across CDU TAFE and Higher Education (HE) in the College.

    Cultural and linguistic diversity

    Cultural diversity refers to a workforce made up of people of different ethnicities, religions and cultures. ‘Cultural inclusivity’ however, means to ensure that people are seen, heard and valued.

    Importance of cultural inclusion

    Organisations that have successfully established a diverse workforce can reap the proven benefits that it provides, including a wide array of perspectives and experiences. 

    However, seemingly innocuous practices that are embedded in a company’s culture have the potential to make a segment of its workforce feel unwelcome and alien. But, when the possible problems with these practices are identified, a commitment to creating an inclusive culture can lead to changes that can vastly improve a work environment.

    A culturally inclusive environment requires mutual respect, effective relationships, clear communication, explicit understanding of expectations and critical self-reflection.

    In an inclusive environment, people of all cultural orientations can:

    • freely express who they are, their own opinions and points of view
    • fully participate in teaching, learning, work and social activities
    • feel safe from abuse, harassment or unfair criticism.

    A culturally inclusive university means that:

    • individual students can participate fully in classes, aim to study better, aim to achieve better academic results, experience less stress and have enhanced career prospects.
    • all staff can interact more fully with other staff and students and can extend and develop their own cultural awareness.
    • the university as an organisation benefits from culturally diverse staff and students through exposure to alternate perspectives and experiences.

    To establish an environment where diversity is genuinely valued, equity needs to be embedded into the core business of each working area within the university.

    Policies that dictate what we should or should not do are often described as ‘lip service’ – meaning they exist to satisfy a legal requirement but are often not put into practice. Implementing such policies requires a shift in emphasis from the concept of equity being an ‘add-on’ policy to being an active and positive valuing of diversity in all that we do.

    Cultural diversity at CDU

    Cultural diversity is commonly interpreted in relation to ethnicity. However, the term should be understood within a broader context where it recognises the unique attributes of all persons.

    We are committed to creating and maintaining a culturally competent community where all people can thrive and their cultural and linguistic diversity is actively celebrated. We are committed to actively addressing all structural and cultural barriers faced by students, academic and professional staff, and visitors.

    We have zero-tolerance for racism and discrimination. We work to empower all our staff and students to appreciate and value diverse perspectives, including global perspectives in their work and studies here. 

    Language and learning support

    Our Language and learning support is free and confidential, assisting you with skills development and tailored to your specific unit.

    We work with students and lecturers to understand the requirements of varied assignments and further study skills.  


    Advancing women in STEM courses.

    Our College developed Advancing Women In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses strategy with a mission to demonstrate a strong commitment and support for gender equality in STEM courses through a strategic approach for enhancing participation and retention.

    Find out more about the project

    People with disability

    Access and inclusion services are free for all CDU students.

    If you are a student with a diagnosed health condition, disability, mental health condition, or are a carer, the Access and Inclusion team can assist you with support for your studies, to ensure equal access and participation in uni life.

    Our Access and Inclusion team will work with you, your Lecturers and Course Coordinators to make reasonable adjustments to support you in your studies. 


    Once you register, together we will develop an Access Plan to include adjustments to your studies. You can also get a Placement Plan to help with any placements, field trips or similar activities.

    LGBTIQ+ sexual and gender diversity

    We have a zero-tolerance approach to homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and intersexism. 

    CDU celebrates sexual and gender diversity and we pride ourselves on maintaining safe and supportive campuses, where people who identify as (or are questioning being) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+), can work and study free from sexual discrimination, bigotry or prejudice. 

    Our University has an active and thriving ALLY Network for staff and students.

    CDU is a proud member of Pride in Diversity.

    For more information, please email or T: +61 8 8946 6993.

    Parents and carers

    If you are a student with carer responsibilities, you may be eligible to register for ongoing support for your studies.

    CDU recognises carers in accordance with the Carers Recognition Act 2010 and the Carers Recognition Act 2012 (Vic). 

    Carers are people who provide personal care, support and assistance to another individual in need of support due to disability, or medical condition, including terminal or chronic illness, mental illness or is frail and aged.

    The Carers Recognition Act 2012 recognises, promotes and values the role of carers. While carers support people with a disability to go about their day-to-day activities, they may also need their own support to carry out their care role.

    Generational diversity

    We celebrate our multi-generational workforce and student cohort.

    We are committed to maintaining a community that is age-positive, and leverage the skills, experience and wisdom of our staff, students, and visitors of all ages.

    We will not tolerate age discrimination, and actively encourage all staff and students to work together in age-diverse teams and benefit from working and studying in a multi-generational environment. 

    For more information, please email or T: +61 8 8946 6993.

    Meet our student ambassadors

    Chun Wang

    I am Chun Wang, and I came from China. I have lived in Australia since 2013.

    I am currently studying as a PhD student at Charles Darwin University where I am following my interests in the fields of renewable and sustainable green energy. Through my research, I seek to optimise the production of methane-rich biogas from green waste through anaerobic digestion.

    I have a master’s degree in chemical engineering as well as years of experience in the chemical and energy field.

    Since arriving in Australia, I have travelled to many places to experience a variety of lifestyles.

    From those people from different countries, I learned a lot about how to respect each other who has different cultural backgrounds.

    I am quite interested in learning about different cultures and am passionate to introduce my country’s culture to people around me.

    I believe all people with different cultural backgrounds will understand each other through positive communication and finally, there will be no border between us.

    Language: English, Mandarin

    Chun Wang
    Kalina Zarzycka-Kusiak

    My name is Kalina Zarzycka-Kusiak. I come from Poland and bring a European perspective to the ACCEPT Team. I am in the final semester of the Master of Digital Learning Futures course at Charles Darwin University.

    My goal is to work as an e-learning designer creating content that meets the needs of multicultural classrooms.

    I believe that matching the right pedagogy with the right technology can enhance and facilitate the learning of students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, I am confident that the diversity of cultural, social, political, and ethnic backgrounds as well as different learning experiences can only enrich our learning process.

    With over 100 nationalities and around 140 social, cultural, and religious organisations, the Northern Territory is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse places. This extraordinary wealth of cultures represents a unique potential that we should appreciate, grasp, and draw on.

    Language: Polish, English, German

    Kalina Zarzycka-Kusiak
    Maria Ali

    My name is Maria Ali. I am currently doing PhD at Charles Darwin university.

    Darwin is my home since 2017. I have found a multicultural society over here where one can observe the different subcultures and people from different backgrounds and cultures living and working together. It shows the acceptance of each other cultures, religions, norms and values. I am originally from Pakistan. The country's land occupies has a rich history of conquest and migration, contributing to Pakistan’s diversity. I always try to celebrate cultural events the same way we celebrate back home. I firmly believe that we should not undermine our relationship and association with our homeland by birth.

    Languages; English, Urdu, Punjabi 

    Maria Ali
    Mounica Undi

    Hello, I’m Mounica Undi and I am from Vizag, which happens to be one of the most beautiful coastal cities in India.

    I am currently pursuing my Master of Information Technology (Information systems and Data Science) at Charles Darwin University.

    I am quite inquisitive by nature and a strong believer in continuous learning. I'm a person who loves beaches and mountains alike, loves to explore different places and meet people from multicultural backgrounds.

    I come from a land of over 2000 ethnic backgrounds and 121 languages, this has always fascinated me to learn about different cultures and traditions of various backgrounds.

    Choosing Darwin, Australia, as a destination for my higher education has helped align my interests in meeting people from multicultural backgrounds as well as exploring different places, their traditions, practises and cuisines.

    To my surprise, I have found this land to be even more diverse than I ever thought especially the existence of different communities.

    I always love to celebrate different kinds of festivals, and cultural events and the communities here are welcoming which makes it even more special to rejoice and celebrate the rich heritage and tradition.

    Language: English, Hindi

    Mounica Undi
    Olukemi Ojo-Abegunde

    Olukemi Ojo-Abegunde is currently undergoing her Master’s Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering at Charles Darwin University, Australia.

    She is a proud Nigerian, coming from the most populous black nation in the world with a population of over 200 million people. Her country is very diverse having over 250 ethnic groups who speak almost 500 different dialects.

    Olukemi has spent over five years living, working, and studying in Australia. Olukemi loves being part of the diverse cultures in Australia.

    Once you are on the shores of the continent of Australia, you cannot but feel the culture shock, particularly of other nations “There’s so much to learn and embrace, the Australian life is unique and will require you to learn and unlearn things you already know”

    She is delighted to help international students from diverse backgrounds navigate their way through the various challenges that come with relocating to a new environment such as finding the right accommodation, getting a job, managing a family whilst studying and so on.

    Olukemi is passionate about using her skills, especially in crafts and designs. These natural instincts and abilities have been helpful to navigate her into the world of construction and civil engineering. She loves to make things with her hands, such as sewing, and hair braiding. However, caring for her toddlers has made this a major challenge. Oftentimes, she enjoys debating political issues, especially those relating to Africa.

    Language: English, Yorùbá and Ìyàgbà.

    Olukemi Ojo-Abegunde
    Rijan Bhuju

    I am Rijan Bhuju, and I came from a country rich in culture and religion. I came to Australia in 2018 from Nepal.

    I am currently studying Master of Engineering (Civil and Structural) at Charles Darwin University to further pursue my dream of becoming a professional engineer.

    Since I have been to Australia, I have had the chance to meet a lot of multicultural people from different countries.

    As I am from Nepal, I realise how important one’s traditions are. I belong to the Newari culture which is one of the oldest communities in my country.

    I always try to celebrate our cultural events in the same way, we celebrate back home, because I believe, one should never forget their roots and that makes them who they are today. 

    Language: English, Nepali, Newari, Hindi

    Rijan Bhuju
    Rosie Nguyen

    My name is Rosie Nguyen. I come from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

    Currently, I’m studying for a Master of IT at Charles Darwin University. Living in Darwin gave me an excellent opportunity to learn and explore different cultures from different countries, which I always feel excited about.

    I am learning with students from nearly 20 other countries where everyone is proud of their home countries and represents their culture differently.

    As part of ACCEPT ambassador team, we aim to ensure that staff and students in our college feel safe and truly belong. I am thrilled to be part of this journey.

    Language: English, Vietnamese

    Rosie Nguyen

    Contact us

    We also compile different articles and policies as a source of information to better understand and enhance the capacity of diversity and inclusion opportunities in our College.

    For more information about our initiatives, resources, activities and events, please reach us at: