Secondary students gain valuable insight into university life

21/07/2022 | 3 mins

Aspire UWA and Alcoa Foundation have combined forces to give aspiring university students a taste of not only university campus life but what a post-university career might look like.

"To have the opportunity to present to our youth and share my personal education experience is special, knowing I was helping to set up our future generation for success."

Tahnee Patterson, Alcoa Kwinana Alumina Refinery Process Maintenance Supervisor

More than 250 attendees registered for a recent day-long campus tour at The University of Western Australia, including many from the Peel region who took advantage of a complimentary bus service funded from the long-running partnership Aspire UWA has with the Alcoa Foundation.

Early career engineering and law industry professionals along with current UWA students and Aspire Ambassadors studying genetics and business management presented on an industry panel at the event.


Image: The Aspire UWA industry panellists, Grace Huxtable (School Partnerships Coordinator Peel, Aspire UWA), Sanjeev Sunnie (Stantec), Flossy Mutasa (Jackson McDonald), Tahnee Patterson (Alcoa), Kelsey Hollands (current UWA student and Aspire Ambassador) and Carina Tan (current UWA student and Aspire Ambassador).

Aspire UWA Peel Coordinator Grace Huxtable said the diverse range of panellists with different career pathways highlighted the role university studies can play in career development at any stage.

“Hearing about the different journeys that each of our panellists have taken to get to where they are today, and the different reasons each had for attending university reflected the shift we’re seeing in career progression, while also recognising that university studies still play a vital role in setting students up for success,” Ms Huxtable said.

“After recording the panel sessions, we plan to distribute and share highlights with students who were unable to attend on the day, particularly those from regional and remote areas.”

Alcoa Kwinana Alumina Refinery Process Maintenance Supervisor Tahnee Patterson, one of the industry panellists on the day, said Aspire UWA delivers a brilliant, diverse exploration into the education pathways available, both traditional and non-traditional, to discover opportunities within differing industries.

“To have the opportunity to present to our youth and share my personal education experience is special, knowing I was helping to set up our future generation for success,” Ms Patterson said.

Attendees also met and engaged with 12 current UWA students who attend Aspire partner schools. 

“This invaluable opportunity allowed both students and parents to engage with the work Aspire UWA does to promote tertiary studies to students who wouldn’t normally consider attending university, and gain insight into the opportunities this created for our current Aspire Ambassadors,” Ms Huxtable said.

About Aspire UWA:  Aspire UWA works with more than 70 partner schools and communities in regional Western Australia and Perth to raise aspirations for tertiary education. Supported by Alcoa Foundation, Aspire encourages students who would not normally consider university to see the benefits and opportunities that university study offers.

Media references

Liz McGrath, UWA Media Advisor, 0433 795 509

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