Holiday camp to inspire Indigenous high school students

More than 40 Year 10 and 11 Indigenous students from across the State will spend their school holidays at The University of Western Australia for the annual Indigenous Science, Engineering and Health Camp where they will learn about future career opportunities.

Students will travel from towns including Albany, Australind, Broome, Dalwallinu, Geraldton, Halls Creek, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Narrogin, Port Hedland, as well as the Perth metropolitan area. 

The students will participate in activities such as creating strong bridges, making moulds of teeth, using lab techniques in forensic science and touring the EZONE building. The camp is designed to take students outside their comfort zone and make them think about future career interests.

Hosted by the UWA School of Indigenous Studies, the camp aims to break down some of the barriers preventing Indigenous students from considering tertiary education after high school.

Brendon DeGois from UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies said the camp continued to be a huge success because it helped school students understand that university was a real possibility and they also became aware of support services available at the UWA School of Indigenous Studies.

“This will be the first time for many of these students to find out about some of these areas of science and it will also be the first time some have visited the UWA campus,” Mr DeGois said.

“The students are quite reserved when they arrive on the first morning from around the state but by the end of the week they will have made lots of friends and hopefully their transition from high school to university is an easy one with a ready-made network of peers.”

Many students who have attended secondary science camps run by UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies over the years have gone on to graduate from UWA and embark on careers in science, engineering and health.

While at UWA they are able to explore the campus and visit residential colleges such as University Hall and St Thomas More.

Indigenous medical, dental, science and engineering students currently studying at UWA will act as mentors to the Year 10 and 11 students during the camp. 

Rio Tinto provides support for the camp which is sponsored by Aspire UWA, an outreach program that encourages students from low socio-economic, Indigenous and regional backgrounds to access the lifelong benefits of higher education.

Media references

Brendon DeGois (UWA School of Indigenous Studies)                          08 6488 3847 / 0414 371 179

Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Adviser)                                                             08 6488 7975

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