Swinburne pledges commitment to migrant community

Thursday 3 March 2016

Former student Sam Bashiry shares his experience at the welcome tree planting ceremony

Special guest Sam Bashiry, who is a former Iranian refugee, shares his inspirational story.

In summary

  • Swinburne has for many years welcomed migrants into its community
  • Swinburne Welcome Tree is a symbol of support to the university's migrant community
  • The ceremony is an important step towards enhancing a sense of belonging
We are very proud of our many high achieving graduates from migrant backgrounds, who have gone on to make significant contributions to our society

An iconic Australian tree has become the symbol of ongoing commitment and support to all migrants from established and emerging communities at Swinburne University of Technology.

For many years, Swinburne has welcomed migrants into its community. Professor Glen Bates, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Advancement says students and staff from diverse migrant backgrounds form an important part of university life.

“To reinforce our long-standing support to migrants, we have planted a gum tree to signify that we welcome all migrants, including migrants from emerging communities. We want members of these communities to benefit from the power of education and grow with us,” says Professor Bates.

“We are very proud of our many high achieving graduates from migrant backgrounds, who have gone on to make significant contributions to our society,” says Professor Bates.

Group photo of welcome tree planting ceremony
Swinburne community come together to celebrate a longstanding commitment to migrant groups.

Special guest Sam Bashiry, who is a former Iranian refugee, shared his inspirational story. At the age of 10, Mr Bashiry fled his home country with his family to start a new life in Australia. After graduating from Swinburne, Sam went on to be the founder of US $15 million start-up, Broadband Solutions.

 “The Welcome Tree Planting Ceremony is an important step for us as a university to enhance participation, a sense of belonging and social inclusion and appreciation among diverse cultures on campus,” says Swinburne’s newly appointed Director of Multicultural Engagement, Mr Chin Tan.

Swinburne welcome tree
The iconic gum tree serves as a symbol of support.

As the traditional owners of the land on which our Australian campuses are located, Wurundjeri Elders joined university students, staff and community leaders at this important event.

A host of migrant support service providers and advocates also joined the ceremony as Swinburne declared that it is a place that warmly welcomes all our migrant communities.