Indigenous primary school students given taste of health profession

Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace
Heartbeat: Keeping Pace

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from primary schools across South Western Sydney will be given a taste of life in the health professions at Heartbeat: Keeping Pace, a special University of Western Sydney event designed to raise awareness of what’s important for good health, and provide access to positive role models completing degrees at university. 

Students from years 3 and 4 will visit UWS Campbelltown Campus on June 3 to take part in fun and educational activities linked to health, and hear from Aboriginal students enrolled in courses including Medicine, Nursing and Health Science.

The same students will be invited back to UWS every year for different events in the Heartbeat series, which aims to educate Indigenous students about health, inspire them to pursue careers in health, and make them feel that university is a place for them.

In the longer term it is hoped this will contribute to “closing the gap” experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health outcomes.

The Manager of UWS Schools Engagement Anne McLean says Heartbeat is a great way for the students to learn about health practices and issues, as well as all the different people who help us take care of ourselves.

“While UWS has quite a few Indigenous students studying medicine and other health-related courses, we would like to have more, and Indigenous people are under-represented in many health professions.  A key factor in closing the gap will be to ensure more Indigenous people join these professions,” Ms McLean says.

“With students joining Heartbeat in year 3 or year 4, they will have the opportunity to find out if a career in health would suit them and if so, set themselves some goals.”

“There will also be maximum opportunity for them to apply what they learn to their lifestyle choices, and to influence others through their knowledge.”

Activities at the event include:

  • Physical Fitness for Life: students are given an overview of the human body & muscle function and are then provided with the opportunity to test their fitness levels.
  • The Human Skeleton: students learn about the human skeleton, and assemble an entire human body. 
  • The Human Heart: a visual display of the heart beating and blood flowing throughout the body is presented to students, and they use stethoscopes to check their own heart rates and listen to the sounds in the abdomen.
  • Oral Hygiene: students learn about the importance of oral hygiene, and are shown the correct way to clean their teeth.
  • Food for Thought: students are taught about the importance of healthy food and given tips for gaining the most benefit from the foods they eat.

Participating schools

Blairmount Public School

Bradbury Public School

Briar Road Public School

John Warby Public School

Kentlyn Public School

Leumeah Public School

Minto Public School

Narellan Public School

Ruse Public School

Thomas Acres Public School

St Clare's Catholic Primary

St John the Evangelist Primary School



24 May 2013

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer

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