While most of his AFL footy mates were off on school holidays, Marcus Valastro travelled thousands of kilometres to further his education this week.
The 16-year-old Darwin High School student attended the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop (ISESW) at the University of Sydney this week.
Valastro, who has already proved himself on the AFL field, impressed the workshop coordinators with his enthusiasm and dedication to the week-long engineering school.
"I want to play AFL but I also want to excel in my education,” explained Valastro, who attended ISESW to help him determine his future career path.
"The activity I have enjoyed and found the most valuable was visiting the mechatronic lab. I knew a little about mechatronic engineering but seeing the robots in action has really inspired me."
The ISESW provides Year 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who show an aptitude for engineering with an insight into the extensive career choices available to graduates It also helps young people define their study goals.
Valastro and six fellow students from across Australia took part in the elite program which included site visits to Google, ResMed and Laing O’Rourke.
During the week-long course, the group also attended study skills and essay writing workshops to assist them with their preparation for Year 12 final exams.
Marcus was encouraged to apply for the ISESW after attending the annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School – held at the University earlier in the year – where his dedication was recognised, winning him the Bob Hawke Leadership Award.
Wheelchair basketball athletes from the NSW Institute of Sport and Wheelchair Sports NSW showed their support for the Pave the Way campaign this week.
A new scholarship program with a four-week research cadetship gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students a taste of research and cultivates new career aspirations.
Visitors can marvel at a dazzling display of ancient Aboriginal stone tools and learn how Indigenous scientific knowledge spanned the millennia at a University of Sydney talk this week.