International House: promoting intercultural understanding and personal growth
Aug 15, 2017
Tamra Keating
International House: promoting intercultural understanding and personal growth

In 1945 the Australian government invited university students from countries in South and South East Asia to study in Australia as part of an aid program called the Colombo Plan.

A significant number of these students came to study at the University of Melbourne. Various groups within and outside the University of Melbourne were interested in making these students feel welcome and assisting them to form friendships with Australian students. It was felt that the establishment of a new residential college for local and overseas students would best serve this interest.

The model of this new college was inspired by the International Houses Worldwide Movement, particularly International Houses which were already operating successfully in Europe and the United States at the time. The founders of the House wanted to produce graduates who were broadly educated and well informed on international affairs, and expected residents to acquire a keen appreciation of the values and cultures of others.

International House was opened in 1957 as an independent, multi-cultural, self-supporting residential college owned and operated by the University of Melbourne.

Rotary Central Melbourne has a proud history of support for International House, particularly though the annual Fraternitas Award.

Tamra is Director of Marketing and Development at International House.  She has a Bachelors Degree in Communication Management and a Masters Degree in Arts.

Tamra has worked in University education for nearly 20 years with the last 11 years at International House. She has a diverse portfolio with responsibilities in recruitment for both international and Australian students, alumni relations, communication management, event coordination for both student and external audiences and fundraising.

She finds her role most satisfying when she recruits Australian students from rural Australia and is able to give them the experience of living in a diverse and supportive community, something they may not found within their previous situations.