16 May 2024

Diversity and Inclusion in Swinburne Sarawak

By Communications Team

Victoria Paloma Victor Palau, a 1st year Media and Communication student explores Swinburne Sarawak’s initiatives in fostering cultural diversity on campus. Victoria encourages all to weave our own threads into the already global tapestry of culture!

Like a vibrant tapestry, woven from countless colourful threads to create different shapes and patterns, our world is a global tapestry made from different traditions, customs, and languages. In a globalized world, cultivating cultural diversity through intercultural communication and understanding is becoming more important in achieving peace and sustainable development. It takes a joint effort between everyone around the world to be able to. 

But how can we, as students, use the power we have, to make a difference?

Remember that all things great have their humble beginnings. We too can make an impact – starting right here in Swinburne. 


Nyalang Warriors is a cultural club focused on promoting Sarawakian culture to Swinburne students through dance, music, and cultural learning

Embracing Cultural Diversity Starts in Class

Building a better understanding of our world’s diverse culture starts in class! Something as simple as striking up a conversation can open endless possibilities of knowledge and perspectives.  

During my first year at Swinburne, I met a classmate from Labuan (a Malaysian federal territory). Sure, I knew there would be similarities in our culture, but our conversation revealed a treasure trove of differences, especially in language. We both spoke Malay and English, but her Labuan accent and the slang she used were fascinating. We ended up teaching each other our languages and slang – Labuan slang for Sarawakian Malay! 

The above conversation is just one example of the fulfilling experiences we encounter when we open ourselves up to learning from others in class. By listening to each other’s stories, it can help us learn to appreciate the richness and complexity of diverse cultures. It does not need to be international connections, because even someone from a different state can offer fresh perspectives.

So, next time you are in class, do not be afraid to reach out! Ask questions about their background and share some personal stories of your own! You can learn new languages or cultures from your newfound friends.

Inclusivity in Swinburne 

Apart from that, as the hub for global interconnectivity, Swinburne Sarawak campus strives to embrace its students’ diverse backgrounds by hosting cultural-related events, small outreach events for national holidays and celebrations, and supporting student-led initiatives. Here is how: 

1. Culture-focused Clubs and Societies: In Swinburne Sarawak, several student body organizations focus on creating an inclusive and vibrant space on campus. These organizations host events and meetings that aim to enrich students with cultural experiences. These experiences also open opportunities for students to form friendships, learn and appreciate the diversity of culture on campus. Some splendid examples are Africa Unites, Nyalang Warriors, Social Club and the Swinburne Pakistan Society and many more that are fully led by compassionate students. 

2. Outreach Events and Community Building: Swinburne Sarawak has its own fair share of efforts and initiatives to foster a harmonious environment on campus by hosting community-building events and small giveaways for students and staff alike. Such an event is the Bubur Lambuk event last Ramadhan, which encouraged students to participate in the making of bubur lambuk, a traditional Malay porridge. This activity not only creates a sense of community and belonging to local students but also gives a chance for international students to learn and indulge in Malaysian culture. 

3. A Celebration of Cultures: Every year, Swinburne Sarawak comes alive through Cultural Night, a vibrant event, celebrating the cultures and diversity of students on campus! From traditional dances to music ensembles, the night comes alive, decorated with diverse showcases of student cultures. Other than entertaining and cultural performances, Swinburne Sarawak’s clubs and societies open vendor stalls, brimming with handcrafted arts and jewellery, and mouth-watering traditional food that offers a taste of culture from around the world. This lively event welcomes everyone – students, staff, and the local community to come together and celebrate diversity in one night! So, if you are a student, indulge yourself in a night of culture by participating in the event soon! 

Nyalang Warriors, a cultural club focused on promoting Sarawakian culture to Swinburne student through dance, music, and cultural learning

Nyalang Warriors performing for Cultural Night 2023

Moving Forward

Swinburne Sarawak’s many cultural events and initiatives are a testament to the united efforts between students and staff in fostering a harmonious and diverse campus community. Swinburne’s commitment to creating open spaces for intercultural connection between students and staff alike shows dedication to cultivating a rich learning environment where everyone thrives. With its dedication to inclusivity, Swinburne Sarawak is poised to continue flourishing as a global hub for education. 

Next time you see a cultural event going on on campus, go ahead and join! It could be your chance to learn more about the people around you and enhance your intercultural communication skills! 

Observed every 21st May of every year, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development has celebrated the beauty of the world’s diverse culture since 2002, with UNESCO leading the initiative. 


Related articles

Your Intellectual Property = Your Creative Genius

Read more

Cutting-Edge Research for a Healthier Tomorrow

Read more

A Family of Swinburne Graduates

Read more