Notre Dame celebrates diversity and the Americas

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 10-9-2010

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Cultural diversity, food, song and dance were celebrated in true fiesta-style and dazzling colour at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s annual Multicultural Day, with a special aim of using part-proceeds to raise funds for Pakistani flood victims.

With this year’s theme of the Americas in full-swing, Fremantle students showcased their proud heritage in a lively display of Samba, Zumba and Capoeira dancing, as well as tasty treats from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, North America and many States of the Americas.

Dressed in true Western-style checkered shirts, hats and boots, Notre Dame’s very own Cowboy and Cowgirl offered students the opportunity to have a free Polaroid photo taken with them outside a traditionally adorned Teepee Tent, as a souvenir of ‘their time in the Americas’.

Ecuadorian student, Sandra de witt Hemala, hosted the event and gave a warm welcome and bienvienidos to the students of Notre Dame.

You may be asking yourself what it means exactly to be multicultural?” she said.

“Multiculturalism is the acceptance of multiple ethnic cultures. Here at Notre Dame, we have students from many backgrounds and every year we celebrate our diversity by sharing each of our cultures with fellow students.

“In 2008, we brought you Africa. Last year, we brought you Asia. And this year, we bring to Notre Dame…The Americas.”

Music by Beleza Samba School, headed by one of Australia’s finest Sambistas, Michael Boase, provided a rhythmic and energetic backdrop to the festivities on the day.

Colorado born, first-year Bachelor of Arts student, Megan Rigby, said she was very excited to host her own USA stall on the day and hoped to encourage students to learn a bit more about the rich history and culture of the Americas.

“The United States is an awesome place. I hope others take away the fact that it is a large country with a little bit of everything, from the glamour of Hollywood, to the business of New York City, to the quiet peacefulness of the Colorado Rockies,” she said.

“I have always wanted to study in Australia, so when the opportunity came up a year ago, I jumped on it. So far I have loved studying here. Everyone is friendly and willing to help.”

Ms Rigby said after her arrival in Australia, getting used to the subtle differences in American and Australian culture could be tricky and sometimes amusing.

“Grades on assignments are different. Getting a D back home is pretty bad, but getting a D or Distinction here, I am happy with. It was confusing when I got my first assignment back and I thought I had done really poorly!” she remarked.

Notre Dame’s annual Multicultural Day celebrations are coordinated by the University’s Student Life Office and student volunteers from Notre Dame’s International Student Association.

This year, all drink proceeds were donated to the Pakistan Flood Relief.

Media Contact:

Andrea Barnard (+61) 8 9433 0610, Mob (+61) 0408 959 138