Griffith Mates are celebrating completing more than 800 hours of volunteer work for student events so far this year.

More than 100 students from 27 different countries are involved with Griffith Mates, a Griffith International program that helps international students adjust to life in Australia, practise English, make new friends and participate in exciting events.

Griffith Mates at O-Week.

This National Student Volunteer Week (August 9-15), Griffith Mates are taking a moment to reflect on the enormous amount of volunteer work they have taken part in.

Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said the Griffith Mates team contribute to creating a positive and supportive student life.

“Griffith Mates ensure that all Griffith students, domestic and international, have an opportunity to build their social networks and participate in a range of activities, including volunteering in the communities in which our campuses are based,” Professor Todd said.

“Since the advent of the current pandemic, students have taken the Griffith Mates program to students studying with us from around the world, and ensured students can stay socially connected, while physically distant.

“I am incredibly proud of the Griffith Mates program and continually surprised and delighted by the calibre of the senior students who volunteer every year to be part of the Mates team.”

Multicultural Night.

Griffith Mates holds a wide range of events, from things like City Tours of both the Gold Coast and Brisbane, and Multicultural Night, to Beach Care and Bush Care days, where volunteers help restore the environment by weeding and picking up rubbish.

South African biomedical student Prianca Govender said Griffith Mates provides a sense of connection while studying overseas.

“I joined the Griffith Mates program because I was raised on a principle of “service to others”, and I think the program really embodies this,” Prianca said.

“My favourite time of the year has to be Orientation Week because I love working together with the other Mates and helping new students find their classes, host campus tours and meet new people.

“Being part of Griffith Mates has allowed me to expand my network and make friends from all over the world, it really is like a second family to me.”

Contributed by Estelle McCabe.

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