Rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students experience university life

Rural Indigenous Student Visit
Rural Indigenous Student Visit
Rural Indigenous Student Visit
Rural Indigenous Student Visit
Rural Indigenous Student Visit

Sixty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from high schools in rural and remote areas of NSW experienced university life when they attended the University of Western Sydney Rural Indigenous Student Visit from Monday 17 to Friday 21 June.

Ms Anne McLean, Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, says the week-long visit was an opportunity for students to gather information about their future options.

“The program means students can experience the university environment first-hand,” says Ms McLean.

“They are given comprehensive information on career choices, study pathways, scholarship & support opportunities, courses and university study. Students in rural and remote areas often miss out on visiting universities because of distance and other limiting factors.”

During the visit students participated in a series of workshops and also met academic and support staff, spoke with Aboriginal UWS students, participated in academic enrichment activities, and found out more about specific courses they may be interested in.

“The visit program helps students to feel comfortable with the environment of higher education and assists them in making informed decisions on their future study and career choices,” says Ms McLean

“UWS has provided this opportunity for Indigenous students, who are under-represented in higher education, for a number of years in the hope of increasing their participation rates.”

Staff and students were accommodated at the UWS Penrith campus for the duration of the trip, and visited the Hawkesbury, Werrington and Campbelltown campuses for workshops and activities. 

Activities during the visit included:
  • A law mini moot at the UWS Campbelltown Moot Court
  • An Aboriginal Astronomy evening at the University’s Penrith campus
  • Cultural workshops on ‘Storytelling, Traditional Wood Carving, the Boomerang’ and ‘The Didgeridoo and Traditional Art’
  • Workshops in engineering and physics, music, design, communication arts, natural sciences, medicine, nursing, policing, sports science and teaching
  • A games night and dinner with Aboriginal Elders and community members, UWS staff and students

Schools participating in the UWS Rural Indigenous Student Visit were:

  • Bourke High School
  • Walgett Community College 
  • Gilgandra High School 
  • Condobolin High School
  • Mudgee High School
  • Wellington High School


26 June 2013

Photos: Nicholas Smith

Contact: Hannah Guilfoyle, Media Assistant