Aussie history 101 at Orientation (Issue 2, 2013)


International students from around the world learned that their ancestors may have helped set up communities in Australia more than 160 years ago, during a lecture at the Melbourne campus recently.

The newly-arrived students – ranging from China to Europe – discovered that their forefathers helped shape Australia at critical moments in history, such as the arrival of Chinese miners during the Gold Rush in Victoria in 1851 and subsequent waves of migration from Europe and Vietnam in the 1950s and 1970s respectively.

The lecture in Australian history was specifically targeted to international students in Orientation Week, to help them settle into University life and study in Australia before the start of Semester 1. Orientation was held one to two weeks before the start of semester, at Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton campuses.

Associate Professor Katie Holmes of the School of Historical and European Studies, in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, talked students through the key moments in time of Australia's past.

In one hour she covered events ranging from the White Australia Policy, overturned in 1970, to the recent former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations of Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and resettled with white Australian families.

Dr Holmes also explained the story behind the ANZACs - Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – who, during World War I, pioneered the Australian spirit of resilience, which has continued to see Australians through difficult times such as drought, bushfire and flood.

It is highly recommended that international students attend University Orientation activities at their campus, as it has been proven that students who attend such programs are more likely to succeed in their studies.

International Enrolment and Orientation for Semester 2 will be held from 15 to 26 July at the Melbourne and Bendigo campuses, on 25 and 26 July at the Albury-Wodonga and Mildura campuses, and on 25 July at Shepparton.