High-achieving alumnus returns to Sydney to share success

28 June 2012

Last week, more than 100 Year 7 students from Bass High School visited the Camperdown Campus for their first taste of university life. The Compass program's campus visits for Year 7 students provide an initial context for the subsequent, more specialised activities that they will take part in each year throughout high school. Just as importantly, they take place at a time when students' horizons are starting to expand. Visiting the campus makes the possibility of university as a destination come into focus.

The Bass High students were given additional insights into university life by their school's Compass Coordinator, University of Sydney alumnus Michael Hanratty. Now the Senior Learning Centre Coordinator at Bass High School, Hanratty was also winner of the 2011 University Medal in BEd(Secondary)(HMHE), and was keen to revisit the campus to show his young students where he learned his craft.

As a student, Hanratty himself travelled back and forth from the south-west of Sydney, and he hoped the campus visit would provide students "with an opportunity to see how amazing the University is. A lot of our students are not even aware of the tertiary opportunities outside of the Western Sydney area." A strong advocate of programs that assist students from all backgrounds to consider higher education, Hanratty is a perfect fit for the Compass program.

Along with several of his energetic colleagues, Hanratty joined Compass staff and student ambassadors in a fun day of activities including a walking tour, Quadrangle scavenger hunt, guided tour of the Macleay Museum's natural history exhibits, and a participatory fencing demonstration from the Sydney University Fencing Club.

Although he typically works with senior students, Hanratty considered the activity a success for his juniors, saying "At the end of the visit…it was awesome to hear [students] saying, "I'm totally coming to Sydney Uni when I'm older"."

The Compass team gratefully acknowledges its University partners for their collaboration:

  • Sydney University Sport & Fitness
  • Macleay Museum
  • University Venues
  • Student Recruitment Unit (Student Ambassadors)

See photos and our video from the day.