Indigenous students get a taste of university life at UOW summer camp

Indigenous students get a taste of university life at UOW summer camp

Indigenous students from high schools in the Illawarra and regional New South Wales will get a taste of life at a beachside University and a career in health through a summer camp aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous students going on to higher education.

Thirty years 9 and 10 students from 16 high schools across regional New South Wales to attend the Indigenous Student Summer Camp, hosted by the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Graduate School of Medicine from tomorrow (2 to 4 December).

The three-day camp is designed to give high school students a taste of university life and show them the possible careers in the health sector. Students will participate in interactive sessions run by schools in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health as well as hear from local Indigenous health workers about the career paths they have taken.

For many it will be the first time they have been to the beach and they will get a taste of the lifestyle of Wollongong through a surfing lesson at North Wollongong beach while staying at the college residences. Woolyungah Indigenous Centre will provide information about support services available for Indigenous students at UOW.

Students from as far afield as Lismore, Brewarrina, and Leeton have been invited to attend the camp.

Graduate School of Medicine Indigenous Health Academic Leader Scott Winch said the educational outcomes of Indigenous people in Australia were significantly lower than their non-Indigenous peers.

“As few as five per cent of the Indigenous population attends university. Compare that to almost 24 per cent of non-Indigenous students and we see a great disparity in educational outcomes. Pipeline programs such as the summer camp that engage with students and show them the opportunities available have been recognised as a valuable component of the solution.

“The Indigenous Student Summer Camp is an opportunity for Indigenous high school students from across NSW to examine the pathways available to them when they graduate from high school and for UOW to be a part of increasing Indigenous participation in university education and the health workforce.”

Note to media
Media are invited for photo and interview opportunities on Wednesday 3 December:
11am: students get hands-on experience in the medical labs at UOW
3.30pm: surfing lessons at North Wollongong Beach

Media contact
Scott Winch, Academic Leader: Indigenous Health, on + 61 437 203 221 or Grant Reynolds, Media & PR Officer, +61 2 4221 4743, +61 417 010 350 or