Future Indigenous health professionals keep pace at UWS

Heartbeat: Keeping pace

More than 150 Indigenous students in Years 3 and 4 will gather at the University of Western Sydney's Campbelltown campus on Tuesday 6 November to explore health and medicine.

'Heartbeat: keeping pace' is part of a series that aims to raise Indigenous students' awareness of health issues, and potentially inspire some of them to pursue future careers in medicine and health-related fields.

Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, Anne McLean, says for the Year 3 students it will be their first experience of a ‘Heartbeat’ event, while the Year 4 students will be returning for the second time after attending ‘Heartbeat: get the rhythm’ in 2011.

"Students join the program in Years 3 or 4 then we invite them back each year so they can continue to build on what they’ve learnt earlier, at the same time becoming more familiar with the university environment," says Ms McLean.

“We are looking forward to reconnecting with the Year 4 students and welcoming the Year 3 group from the same schools.

"It’s great to see the students enjoying the hands-on activities and interacting with university staff and students – there are always a lot of happy faces.”

“Students who set their educational and career goals while they’re still in primary school are likely to find it easier to achieve their ambitions. We’ll be aiming to provide specific opportunities for those who do decide to pursue careers in medicine and health later on. It’ll be wonderful to see some of these students at uni in the years to come."

Uncle Ivan Wellington, Community Elder working across South Western Sydney, will deliver a Welcome to Country at 9.30am and this will be followed by an informal whole-of-group session with Professor Vaughan Macefield, Foundation Chair of Integrative Physiology at the UWS School of Medicine and UWS Campbelltown campus Provost.

After that, students will be split into groups and take part in five different activities, run by UWS staff and students from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Science and Health, Psychology and Social Work and staff from the Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service, which is partnering with UWS in the event.

Activities will include:

  • Physical fitness for life: overview of the human body and muscle function and a fitness test;
  • The human skeleton: students will have the opportunity to assemble part of a model human skeleton;
  • The human heart: a visual display and learning activities related to the inside workings of the body;
  • Oral hygiene: students will be shown the correct way to brush their teeth and advised on how often this should be done; and
  • Food for thought: a presentation on the importance of healthy food choices and tips for gaining the most goodness from the food they eat.

Indigenous undergraduates 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 participating in 'Heartbeat: keeping pace' are:

Ambarvale Public School
Blackett Public School
Campbelltown North Public School
Campbelltown Public School
Currans Hill Public School
Dawson Public School
Doonside Public School
Eschol Park Public School
Narellan Vale Public School
Riverstone Public School
Robert Townson Public School
Rosemeadow Public School
Sarah Redfern Public School, Minto
St Andrews Public School
St Helen’s Park Public School
The Grange Public School, Minto
Whalan Public School

WHAT: Heartbeat 'Keeping Pace' event

WHEN: 9:00am - 2:00pm, Tuesday 6 November, 2012

WHERE: School of Medicine, Building 30, UWS Campbelltown campus, Narellan Road, Campbelltown


2 November 2012

Contact: Kristy Gleeson, Media Officer