Indigenous school students experience university

9 June 2011

One hundred and twenty eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 7 and 8 had their first taste of tertiary education today with the Indigenous Students Experience Day at the University of Sydney.

Students from schools all over Sydney visited Camperdown Campus for the event, which is aimed at encouraging Indigenous students to stay in school and consider higher education.

"Today is about giving these students a glimpse of what exciting opportunities are available to them," said Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) at the University of Sydney.

"In this group of kids we could have Australia's next generation of great artists, scientists, historians or playwrights. Coming here today could be just the first step in these magnificent futures," he said.

Designed to capture the imaginations of students who may not otherwise have considered going to university, the event included a series of presentations in the Great Hall, faculty-based subject electives and lunchtime activities.

Along with a host of other elective activities, students learned about insects and all things creepy with University Museums, went rock climbing with Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness, and built a structurally sound marshmallow and spaghetti tower with the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

As part of the University's events for National Reconciliation Week, the students also placed a hand in the Sea of Hands public artwork on the Front Lawns, signalling support for Indigenous Native Title Rights and Reconciliation.

Indigenous Students Experience Day is a partnership between the University's Social Inclusion Unit, the Koori Centre and The Smith Family.