WIC hosted their inaugural Regional Summer Camp and became hosts to more than forty Indigenous students from far and wide. Indigenous students in year 9 & 10 found the courage to leave their regional homes to travel and live on the University of Wollongong campus grounds
On December 13th to 16th, WIC hosted their inaugural Regional Summer Camp and became hosts to more than forty Indigenous students from far and wide. Indigenous students in year 9 & 10 found the courage to leave their regional homes to travel and live on the University of Wollongong campus grounds. Regional towns as far as Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill, and Eden were amongst the cohort of students that travelled onto the campus grounds to experience the ‘life of a student’.
Upon the student’s arrival, they were welcomed and smoked by Uncle Peter Button. Student were than taken to the Science Space at Innovation campus to explore the facility, as well as engage in the Planetarium experience and a STEM activity. Indigenous Astronomer Dr. Stacey Mader also spoke to the students about his experience as a university student and some of the research he has conducted.
On day 2, the participants were up early for the first set of faculty taster sessions. Academics across the university gave their time to sit with the students and engage them in taster sessions to spark interest into the many disciplines that are offered here at UOW. This involved a liquid nitrogen and fire demonstration, a scavenger hunt in the Botanical gardens with an ecologist spin, and clinical skills workshop with the SMAH faculty. In addition to this, students also had the opportunity to engage in a surfing activity and watch a movie in an outdoor cinema.
The following day offered the students more faculty taster sessions. UOW and WIC alumni Connor MacNamara facilitated a music workshop where students were able to create music using keyboards and launchpads. The students also participated in taster sessions from the UOW Makerspace, and the Early Start facility. Later that day, students were welcomed in to the Kuradji Aboriginal Tent Embassy by Uncle Peter Button, where he told stories of the site and the local dreamings to the kids.
The Regional Summer Camp ended in style as they were transported to City Beach Function Centre for a presentation night to award them for their participation in the camp. For some of the students, it was the ‘first time’ they had ever received an award. The night ended with dancing and celebrations of the student’s bravery and fearlessness as they temporarily moved away from home to explore their post-school options. WIC looks forwarded to hosting another camp in 2023.