For CFA’s Acting Chief Financial Officer Mohini Sashindranath, learning about a range of cultures helped her to learn more about herself.
Moving from India to Africa and then the UK at the age of 18, Mohini encountered a range of different languages, ethnicities and religions early on.
“I was born and brought up in India, and left India when I was 18, lived overseas in Africa and the UK and then moved to Australia in my early 20s,” Mohini said.
“When I was in the UK, I lived in a hostel where we had a wing of 11 rooms and every room had someone with a different nationality and it gave me an appreciation for how diversity brings such benefits, both to my life personally and to society.
“It really helped me to find who I am, and I always try and apply that and stay authentic to myself as a result”.
After living between regional NSW, Melbourne and Sydney, Mohini has been with CFA for almost a year – taking on the role of Acting Chief Financial Officer since last November.
“I’ve been at CFA for nearly a year and got the opportunity to act in the CFO role, which for me has presented itself with opportunities to have influence in the things that the organisation is trying to drive and that are important to me, like cultural diversity and ensuring we have good representation of women in leadership roles. That for me has been really special.”
Mohini said that engaging with our culturally and linguistically diverse communities is a key way to increase our member base and encouraging volunteerism.
“The value of the cultural diversity is that we all bring a different perspective, and we will all bring a bit of who we are and what we are, both to society and the workplace. The value that cultural diversity provides is something that we should be and are promoting, and that’s why I’m a real advocate of it.
“Australia is a multicultural society now. If we want to encourage volunteerism we need to be looking at our CALD communities, it’s important for us to do that right from the outset and engage with these communities, welcome them into our organisation and see the benefits they can bring.”
Find out more about Cultural Diversity Week here, and see our earlier story on Keysborough firefighter Bijimon Joseph here.