The event, which forms part of Study Gold Coast’s Embracing Diversity campaign, took place on the first day of the Commonwealth Games currently underway in the city and seeks to leverage the sporting event to increase exposure to prospective students.
“Our students were blown away that we not only listened to them but created something that was truly meaningful for them”
“We are working with Gold Coast to cement its place as one of Australia’s leading student cities and the legacy of Games infrastructure such as improved transport and accommodation will enable a great platform for growth,” innovation and tourism industry development minister Kate Jones said.
“Being part of a diverse, safe and welcoming community ranks highly with prospective students when it comes to choosing study destinations, so that was a key part of the message.”
Speaking with The PIE News, SGC chief executive Shannon Willoughby said the campaign came from discussions with Gold Coast-based international students which identified diversity as a key driver in their decision-making process.
“There were many things that inspired us, but the one message that stood out above everything else was diversity,” she said.
“We decided that we wanted to start a student-led campaign to celebrate not only the city’s education and training sector but the people who live here and who welcome our visitors and their cultures into their lives.”
To launch the campaign, SGC released Embrace, a short film “creating an experience to demonstrate how complete strangers can embrace each other,” capturing intimate and at time awkward exchanges.
“That film then became a call to action for our students and the Gold Coast community to join our Human Rainbow,” Willoughby said.
“What’s been really gratifying for SGC is the feedback since we launched the campaign – the community loved the concept, and our students were blown away that we not only listened to them but created something that was truly meaningful for them,” she said.
As well as the Human Rainbow, SGC is holding events at its Student Hub throughout the Games, is hosting global influencers to promote the city, and running the Agent Pitch Competition with Trade and Investment Queensland. A digital Human Rainbow is available on the Embracing Diversity website, which will become a legacy project of the Games.
The Gold Coast currently hosts 25,000 international students from 130 countries and is Australia’s largest regional destination for students.