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Punting on an engineering career

30 September 2015
Workshop provides insight into extensive career choices available to graduates

While most of his AFL footy mates were off on school holidays, Marcus Valastro travelled thousands of kilometres to further his education this week.

High school student Marcus Valastro at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney

High school student Marcus Valastro (centre) at the Indigenous Student Engineering Spring Workshop at the University of Sydney.

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.