For the fifth consecutive year, RMIT students and staff have celebrated Diwali, the Indian festival of light.
Diwali is traditionally a celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness, and has a special significance for Indian people at home and overseas, irrespective of their culture and religion, signifying unity in Indian diversity.
The name Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali which translates into "row of lamps".
RMIT has a tradition of celebrating Diwali with a cultural program developed by volunteers from its staff and students, especially from the Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC).
This year, Diwali@RMIT included a panel discussion led by Professor Suresh Bhargava, Professor Prem Chhetri and Dr Lois Fitz-Gerald, Executive Director, Office for Research, on the theme: Celebrating research in a multicultural environment at RMIT - learning and working together.
Participants from a variety of religions, countries and beliefs took part in the discussions, sharing their thoughts and ideas about the multicultural nature of the Australian research community, in particular the diversity at RMIT and how it contributes to a cohesive workforce.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond, was welcomed in a traditional Indian way by having "Tilak" (vermillion) and rice placed on his forehead, as well as lighting the candle and "Diya".
Professor Drummond said RMIT was global in attitude, action and presence, and was committed to enhancing the international and cultural diversity of the staff of the University.
"As a global university of technology and design, RMIT is proud to support this significant Indian cultural event," he said.
"As a place of learning, with thousands of overseas students and staff, the University is a great place to celebrate Diwali.
"The event deepens our links with India and the Indian student and staff community, and we hope it will act as a catalyst for further opportunities for collaboration and engagement."
Professor Suresh Bhargava, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor International in the College of Science Engineering and Health, has been the driving force behind Diwali@RMIT.
Professor Bhargava said it was important to share different cultures with people from diverse backgrounds and to make the University feel more like home for staff and students through such a celebration.
Many PhD students from the IICT-RMIT centre, Hyderabad, India, took part in the event, which was also supported by the Platform Technologies Research Institute and Health Innovations Research Institute.
The RMIT community has celebrated Diwali, the festival of light.