Students return from New Orleans committed to action 

Maria Kambouris and Kevin Kadirgamar

The Talloires students

Charles Darwin University (CDU) students Maria Kambouris and Kevin Kadirgamar have returned from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting held in New Orleans, inspired to make a difference in our community.

More than 600 students from 15 countries on six continents attended the inaugural meeting of CGI at Tulane University from 14 -16 March with a vision on how they would change the world.

Students discussed actions to address climate change, global health, human rights and peace and poverty alleviation.

On the final day of the forum, students were given shovels and helped former US President Bill Clinton and actor Brad Pitt to clean up an area to provide new housing for people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Maria and Kevin were two of only 11 students from across the globe who were funded by the Talloires Network to attend the CGI Meeting.

CDU's Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett signed CDU as a member of the Talloires Network in May 2006.

Graduating Bachelor of Social Work student, Maria Kambouris said that having the opportunity to voice her opinions along with others committed to making a difference was an empowering experience.

"Having the opportunity to meet and network with other Talloires students from around the world gave me a broader perspective and understanding on world issues and actions being taken to promote positive change," she said.

"No matter how small a contribution, you can make a difference."

Second year Business/Law student, Kevin Kadirgamar said that being with a lot of people committed to social change in their communities was the most inspiring aspect of the visit.

"It was great to share ideas about how different universities around the world are engaging students in community service and community-based learning," he said.

Maria and Kevin will give a presentation to CDU staff, students and interested community members on Wednesday, 30 April. They hope that other CDU students will join the Talloires Network and become involved.

For further information contact Linda Cuttriss, Coordinator Community Engagement, phone 08 8946 6336 or email