Information for Parents

Thank you for considering the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program for your child.

The Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program is held at the University of Sydney. Participants stay on campus and have a unique opportunity to experience university life, engaging in fun, educational and engaging activities in a supportive and inclusive environment.

At Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu, your child will learn about entry pathways and types of support available at university, and be inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students and staff. In addition, they will get to know other young people from high schools around the country.

The University of Sydney covers all expenses, including airfares, food and accommodation, so there is no cost to parents or schools for your child to participate.

Before your child completes their application, we support you to talk to them about what their interests are and help them choose the subjects that they would like to try out during their time on campus.

There are limited places in the Summer Program and entry is based on their application. However, if your child's application is not successful the first time, don't be deterred; we encourage unsuccessful applicants to the Summer Program to apply the following year.

Questions and answers

What can I do to help my child adjust to the Summer Program easily?

If this is your child's first time away from home, do not be tempted to say you will come and get them if they feel homesick. Instead, reinforce the idea that they are going to have a great time. We also match Year 9 & 10 students with Year 11 & 12 students for guidance and support during the Summer Program. Students are matched by gender and year.

Pastoral care

Pastoral care at the Summer Program is overseen by Compass staff, a number of Aunties and Uncles in-residence and Chaperones travelling with participants to the Program. These people make up the Pastoral Care Team and are available to students and staff day and night.
Students attending the Summer Program are spending a week away from home, and for some it may exacerbate stress, worry and homesickness.

In our experience students can also develop a sense of familiarity with staff during a residential program, which can lead to disclosure of personal information. This information can be of a sensitive nature which requires careful handling and discretion.

Staff and ambassadors are asked to raise concerns/issues about students with the Event Manager on duty. You will be required to complete a Safety Report.

Ambassadors and staff are advised not to attempt to provide counselling or advice but recommend students to the Pastoral Care Team in all instances.

Will my child be sharing a room?
  • Rooms accommodate 1 or 2 students for the Summer Program
  • Rooms are allocated according to gender and age

Our staff stay in separate rooms adjacent to the students, and will be responsible for student’s care during the night. They will be accommodated at Wesley College.

What type of supervision is provided?

We adopt a 1 staff member to 8 students best practice supervision ratio at all times.

What if my child is coming to the Summer Program alone?

The Summer Program is a great place for students to make friends. There are students travelling from all over the country for the Summer Program and many will come on their own. The Summer Program includes both structured and less formal time so that students will have opportunities to mingle and get to know other students from the Summer Program.

Will someone be there to greet and see off my child at the beginning and end of the Program?

Upon arrival at the airport, students will be greeted by University of Sydney staff members who will be wearing a yellow University of Sydney t-shirt and carrying a sign with 'Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program 2016'. They will travel with students from the station or airport to the University.

Following the completion of the Summer Program, students will be escorted to the station or airport and then supervised until boarding.

What about special medical requirements?

We take your child's health seriously, and our staff is experienced in helping with conditions such as asthma or diabetes and will record and carefully supervise students who need to self-administer medication. Safety Australia will be on site for emergencies and the University health service is aware that we will have students on campus during this week. Please make sure that the medical forms are filled out correctly, and do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

What if I need to contact my child in case of a family emergency?

In case of emergency, staff are contactable 24 hours a day. Phone numbers will be provided in the information pack to be distributed one month prior.

What if my child is injured or ill?

Wherever possible you will be contacted immediately and notified of the nature of the illness or injury. If medical attention is required, students are taken to the nearest medical centre or hospital. Students with minor illnesses or injuries can stay on campus under the supervision of the University medical services and Safety Australia who will be onsite from 7am - 11pm daily.

Will my child be safe?

All activities are conducted by qualified and experienced staff who and first aid qualifications. All staff are screened for their suitability to work with children and are trained in safeguarding children.

How do you protect my child from bullying?

Poor behaviour such as bullying is not tolerated. Students who display inappropriate behaviour or language towards others and cannot follow staff instruction are typically disciplined with removal from activities and free time. If this behaviour continues the offending participant will be removed from the Summer Program and sent home. Please encourage your child to speak to a staff member immediately if they are experiencing any bullying issues.

Unauthorised departure

For safety reasons, if a participant is unaccountable for roll call or leaves The University of Sydney campus or any activity/event without prior consent from the Event Manager and you or your nominated contact, we will notify the Police, Family and Community Services and contact you or your nominated contact person.

Visitors: Family and Friends

If you wish for your child to receive visitors during the Summer Program including family or friends you need to contact the Summer Program Coordinator for consent to ensure timing is suitable with other activities. Visitors will need to show photographic ID on arrival and will be asked to sign out before students will be released into visitors care and sign in on their return. The same applies for pickups/departures.

Accidents or emergencies

In an emergency, The University of Sydney can be contacted on (02) 8627 8528.

Parents/Guardians will be contacted if medical conditions or other serious issues arise.


There is no cost for the schools or families of students who participate in the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program. The University of Sydney will pay for travel, meals, accommodation and all other expenses associated with the program. However, if students would like some spending money for their time on campus, they will need to bring this personally.

Performance for parents