Planting the Seed of Change 

When the NGO Fair was first organised in 2008, it began with the thought of opening up the idea to students that there was more than the corporate world in which to make their career mark. 

Now in its fifth year, the NGO Fair has created an awareness among students about life beyond the corporate sector.  

The NGO Fair is an effort by the staff of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, providing an alternative to corporate companies who regularly hold fairs and events in universities to recruit students to their fold.   

As there was not a civil society equivalent, the School’s lecturers took it upon themselves to foster linkages with non-governmental organisations for students to have internship or career opportunities.   

“We are trying to get a variety of NGOs to talk about their different causes, including media, health and  gender issues,” lead organiser Dr Jonathan Driskell said, adding this enabled students to be exposed to different issues and the NGOs behind them. 

This, he added, was also beneficial to NGOs who had the opportunity to spread their message to the Monash campus community of over 5,000 students. 

Last year, Dr Driskell said, many students had shown keen interest to undertake internships at the various NGOs.  

“We invite NGOs that have the capacity to take interns,” he said.   

NGO participants at the fair, which will be held at Monash University Sunway campus on the 14th of August, include Malaysia Care, the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), PAWS, and the Breast Cancer Welfare Association. 

Dr Driskell, a lecturer in film and television studies at the School, said each NGO would highlight their causes at different sessions.  

“A lot of NGOs highlight issues that we cover in our units, so this will help our students in their studies,” he said, adding the fair would give real-world examples to the student community.  

“Gender issues, for example, are covered in the Gender Studies units, so issues highlighted by WAO will give students an added dimension to what they have learned,” Dr Driskell said. 

Source: The Star Special dated 1 August 2012