High School Students Walking Tall Together at UWS

Walking Tall Together 

Over 40 year 9 and 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Greater Western Sydney have gathered at the University of Western Sydney's Hawkesbury Campus for a three-day camp which ran from April 14 to 16.

The 'Walking Tall Together' program is a new opportunity for motivated students to start thinking about, understanding, seeing and actually being a part of tertiary education. Students will be based at the Hawkesbury campus, and travelled to four other UWS campuses for a range of activities and workshops.

Late last year an information package was sent to schools and students were asked to submit an application expressing how they would benefit from the opportunity and contribute to the camp.

Applicants had to demonstrate dedication and achievement across two or more of the following areas: culture, courage and commitment; education; sport; attendance; leadership; citizenship and community service; and creative and performing arts.

Throughout the camp students built their knowledge, skills and confidence as well as increasing their awareness of higher education – to see it as a viable option and to get a sense of what is involved. They took part in academic workshops, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness activities, university information sessions, career exploration exercises, self-development workshops and social activities.

"Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have the potential to succeed at university and this camp will help participants explore the options and set educational goals that suit their interests and talents" says Anne McLean, Manager, Schools Engagement at UWS.

"The three-day camp was held during the holidays so students won't miss any school classes and they'll be able to immerse themselves in interesting, varied and enjoyable experiences that will increase their confidence and preparedness for post-school study," says Ms McLean.

Students had the opportunity to meet local Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal UWS academics, and UWS professional staff. In the academic workshops they will explore subjects such as forensics, nursing, creative writing, music, business, law and natural sciences. They will be mentored by UWS students and able to connect with like-minded students from other schools.

The program is supported by Australian Government funding.

16 April 2015
Media Contact: Tanya Patterson
Image By: Isaac Moussa

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