University of Melbourne championing Welcoming Universities

UoM's 'Welcome' sign

The University of Melbourne has joined Welcoming Universities, demonstrating its commitment to increase cultural diversity and inclusion among students and staff as an inaugural member of the 2022 pilot program.

Welcoming Universities is the latest initiative from Welcoming Australia, an organisation committed to cultivating a culture of welcome and advancing an Australia where people of all backgrounds have equal opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive.

Other initiatives include Welcoming Clubs, the Welcoming Centre and Welcoming Cities, which the City of Melbourne joined in 2019.

Welcoming Australia has a particular focus on supporting and developing pathways for refugee families, people seeking asylum, and recently arrived migrants to access essential services and to build community connections.

Launching to coincide with the start of Semester 1 in February, the development of the Welcoming Universities initiative will enable participating institutions to benchmark their cultural diversity and inclusion practices across their entire operation.

Institutions will be supported to create a sense of belonging for all students and staff.

Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Professor Adrian Little said he believes the initiative strongly aligns to the goals and ethos of the University of Melbourne.

"After two years apart, I am very pleased that our institution is taking the lead in welcoming students from all backgrounds back to campus," Professor Little said.

"Our community is proudly multicultural, and we are enriched by the presence of staff and students from across the globe."

Welcoming Australia CEO Aleem Ali said he applauded the University of Melbourne's willingness to engage in the initiative at an early stage.

"Welcoming Universities is a vital pilot that will support the higher education sector to create a sense of belonging for all — their staff, students, and communities of practice," Mr Ali said.

"The University of Melbourne is demonstrating significant leadership by taking practical steps towards benchmarking and improving their policies and practices and seeking accreditation as a Welcoming University."