Greater Western Sydney Indigenous school students get the rhythm at Heartbeat


 Indigenous primary students in years 3 and 4 from Western and South Western Sydney will get their hearts beating to the rhythm on Monday 7 November at the University of Western Sydney's Campbelltown campus.

'Heartbeat: Get the Rhythm', part of the Heartbeat suite of events and activities for Indigenous students, aims to raise awareness of health issues and inspire some students to take up future careers in medicine and health-related fields.

Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, Anne McLean, says this will be the students' first 'Heartbeat' experience.

"Students join the program in year 3 or 4, and take part in their first on-campus event. They then have the opportunity to return and participate in different activities in later years. In this way the same students can benefit from a range of related learning experiences as they progress through the program," says Ms McLean.

"The program allows Indigenous students to build their knowledge of health and gain some familiarity with medical and health-related fields, as well as encouraging them to see university as a place for them."

"We hope that the program will contribute to better long-term health outcomes for Indigenous Australians, and encourage more Indigenous students to see university as an option, particularly in medicine, health and related sciences."

Indigenous elder, Uncle Ivan Wellington, will deliver a Welcome to Country at 10.00am and this will be followed by an informal discussion with Professor Annemarie Hennessy, the Dean of the School of Medicine at UWS.

Students will then be divided into groups and take part in five different activities, run by UWS staff and students from Medicine, Nursing and Biomedical and Health Sciences, and representatives of the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association, which is partnering with UWS in the event.

Activities will include:

  • Doctor for a Day presented by the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association;
  • Healthy Food Choices will include fun interactive activities designed to teach children the importance of a healthy diet;
  • Health Care information and hands-on activities will be provided by School of Nursing and Midwifery staff;
  • Physical Fitness for Life is an interactive workshop presented by the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences; and
  • Get Plastered will provide students the opportunity to have their arm plastered by UWS medical students.

Indigenous undergraduate students from medicine, nursing, exercise science and health science will act as guides and are looking forward to sharing some of their experiences at university with the young students.

The school students' parents have also been invited to attend.

Schools from Western and South Western Sydney participating in 'Heartbeat: Get the Rhythm' are:

  • Doonside Public School
  • Whalan Public School
  • Blackett Public School
  • Ambarvale Public School
  • Campbellfield Public School, Minto
  • Campbelltown East Public School
  • Campbelltown Public School
  • Campbelltown North Public School
  • Eschol Park Public School
  • Robert Townson Public School, Raby
  • Sarah Redfern Public School, Minto
  • St Andrews Public School
  • St Helen's Park Public School
  • The Grange Public School, Minto
  • Rosemeadow Public School

WHAT: Heartbeat: Get the Rhythm
WHEN: Monday 7 November, from 10.00am to 2.30pm
WHERE: Building 30, School of Medicine, Campbelltown Campus

Note to media: Media are invited to attend, please call the Media Unit ahead of the event to confirm attendance.



4 November 2011

Contact: Paul Grocott, Senior Media Officer