Resident leader spotlight | Richard

Richard is a postgraduate student from Sri Lanka studying Master of Professional Accounting, he’s also one of the Resident Leaders this semester at International House Darwin. We sat down with him to find out a bit more about his story and why he chose to study at Charles Darwin University.

Why Darwin?

Prior to arriving in Darwin, Richard had spent the last six years working in the garment manufacturing industry before he transitioned his focus to accounting.

There were many reasons as to why Richard wanted to study in Darwin. One of the reasons was due to the beautiful Northern Territory landscapes.

“I saw that Darwin’s allure is its remarkable natural beauty. From the captivating national parks, the serene Litchfield Park, to the stunning coastlines, the city offers a myriad of diverse landscapes to explore. I was delighted to find out that living at IHD meant that the beach was a short 10-minute stroll from the accommodation premises. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing several breathtaking sunsets since I have been here.”

Another reason was the professional opportunities CDU provide to allow students to get on-the-job training.

“CDU also was one of the few that offered professional placements as part of the course, the ability to gain real work experience prior to graduation was a big selling point for me.”

Focusing on a balanced life

Richard says he learnt his work ethic and values from his father, and says finding a balance between work, study, social life is crucial for success.

“I prioritize maintaining a healthy mind and body through regular gym visits, cherishing moments spent with loved ones, and engaging in meaningful conversations.”

Finding love

During Richard’s time at IHD, he’s also found love with a fellow resident, Ayumi. Both Richard and Ayumi were studying the same course and their relationship developed from there.

“I have also been fortunate enough to find love during my time at CDU.”

“Our relationship has blossomed over time, and as we now enter our third semester at CDU, we have decided to take the next step and move in together, forging a new life as a couple.”

Get involved in the community

Richard says while focusing on your academic studies is important, volunteering is a great way to stay connected in the community and enhance your skills. In his spare time, Richard is the Vice-President of the Sri Lankan Students Association at CDU. 

“Volunteering provides a valuable opportunity to connect with a diverse group of individuals and help create a network that can prove instrumental in securing future employment after graduation.”

“Darwin, being a relatively small city, offers a unique advantage, as you are likely to encounter acquaintances from these networks in various professional settings. These connections can eventually open doors and assist you in pursuing a career in your chosen field.”

Creating an inclusive environment

One of the driving factors behind Richard becoming a Resident Leader was because of the positive experience he had with a previous RL. He remembers when he first arrived, that he felt isolated and homesick. But because of the support of this one particular RL – they took the time to check-in, introduce him to other residents and encouraged him to participate in IHD events. It was because this, he wanted to support future residents.  

“I aim to actively engage in organizing events at IHD, introducing exciting games and activities that can be enjoyed by a diverse range of individuals. By fostering an environment where everyone can bond and have fun, I hope to facilitate the formation of lasting friendships and a sense of belonging for each new resident.”

Advice for residents

Richard urges all residents at IHD to participate in as many events possible, whether that be cultural nights, sporting events or BBQ’s.

“Attending events is a great way to meet new people and chance to have some fun and let off some steam.”

Richard says IHD also have some great communal spaces that all residents should take advantage of.

“Take advantage of the shared spaces available, such as the study spaces, pool area, multicultural room or communal BBQ’s.”

The future looks bright

So where does Richard see himself after graduating?

At present, Richard has been offered a final year placement with KPMG.

He hopes with this placement he will be able to secure a full-time position with KPMG and achieve Chartered Accountant accreditation.