Funds to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students Get Prepared for university

16 August 2013

Personalised homework and study assistance and careers information will support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people interested in attending university, as part of the University of Sydney's Get Prepared program, which has recently received $1.35 million from the federal government.

"Get Prepared is all about early, effective and sustained engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, their families and communities, to increase their successful transition to university," said Annette Cairnduff, Director of Social Inclusion at the University.

"It is a multi-layered approach aimed at the academic and personal preparation of young people for higher education and at the hub of the program is a Student Learning Network."

The funding will allow the University of Sydney to expand the scope of its engagement programs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and then build on those relationships via the Student Learning Network.

"The network, which includes face-to-face and online tutoring will also be a first point of call for information on study options. It is a way young people can continue to engage with University staff and students they meet in their communities or when they are here on campus," said Ms Cairnduff.

It will be a particularly useful resource for the young people who will be participating in the Wingara Mura Bunga Barrabugu Summer Programs which open for applications next week.

"Get Prepared is another of the exciting and innovative ways that the University is living up to the commitments we made in our Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

"One of the key contributions we can make is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to be ready and able to take up the opportunity for further study - and to successfully complete their studies.

"It also provides us with the opportunity to strengthen and deepen our partnership with Souths Cares and communities in Dubbo, Broken Hill and Taree."

The funding will support South Cares to provide personal support to many of the students taking part in Get Prepared.

This week, in an example of the type of activities it runs with the University of Sydney, high school students supported by Souths Cares worked with current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander postgraduate students to create a film of public health messages they can present to their schools and communities. An underlying aim of the project is to inspire some of those students to enter university themselves.

Souths football player Beau Champion, who has just begun studying a graduate certificate in commerce at the University, spoke to the students about his university experience and the life experiences that had brought him there.

Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342,