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International students Welcomed to Country at TAFE Queensland

A new wave of international students experienced a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at their orientation day at the Acacia Ridge campus.

More than 100 international students who attended their orientation at TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge this week experienced a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. The international students came from all over the globe, with Colombia being the most common birth country, and were glad to have experienced some of the Aboriginal culture upon arrival to TAFE Queensland.

The students, who are enrolled in a range of trade qualifications with the state’s leading training provider, were encouraged by performers from Tribal Experiences to learn and experience the local Indigenous culture.

As students who have not grown up in Australia and have little knowledge of the Indigenous culture of Australia and of South-East Queensland, the international student cohort on their orientation day were enthusiastic to learn about their new home and thankful for TAFE Queensland enabling the experience.

TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech General Manager John Tucker was in attendance for the Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country and felt that it was a great way to welcome in a new wave of international students.

“TAFE Queensland prides itself on celebrating First Nations’ history and culture, and helping international students experience the Australian way of life,” Mr Tucker said.

“Providing trade training and education to these students is our focus, and to be able to facilitate some cultural education as well is fantastic.”

“The interest and engagement of the students with the Welcome to Country and the Smoking Ceremony was very high and they all came away having learned something, we will look to make this a mainstay in our orientations in the future,” he said.

This experience will form an important part of the journey for these students as they take in the Australian culture and undertake trade training at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest trade training facility at TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge in trade industries ranging from automotive to engineering, construction, and electrotechnology.

Engaging the local Indigenous community on a more frequent basis is a key part of TAFE Queensland’s Reconciliation Action Plan developed in 2021 and the inclusion of Tribal Experiences on international students’ orientation is a key demonstration of this plan’s implementation.

TAFE Queensland adjusts its training for international students, with apprenticeship level courses modified to not require an employer being one of the main attractions. International students are able to complete their entire Certificate III trade courses on campus at TAFE Queensland with industry-expert teachers.