Queensland University of Technology’s inaugural Indigenous Australian Science and Infrastructure Development (SID) Winter School has given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a real world insight into the opportunities available at university.
The four-day hands on residential camp gave Caboolture and Moreton Bay students from years 9 and 10 the opportunity to immerse themselves in university life.
The Winter School, hosted by QUT’s Oodgeroo in partnership with Parsons Brinckerhoff, culminated with a special graduation ceremony attended by the Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, Glenn Elmes.
Oodgeroo Unit director Professor Anita Lee Hong said the event was “a huge success”.
“Feedback from students and parents has been really positive,” she said.
“Parents are saying that their children haven’t stopped talking about the camp and university since returning home.
“It was a real eye opener for students. It achieved its goal of demystifying university and encouraging an interest in higher education.”
As part of the camp, students also visited the RAAF base at Amberley and Parsons Brinckerhoff Brisbane offices.
“These visits gave students the chance to see where science and technology can take them,” Professor Lee Hong says.
“Students discovered that a career in science and technology is not just about working in a lab – the possibilities are endless.”
Bray Park State High School student Keziah said the winter school was not just a great opportunity, but a lifetime memory to build confidence, make new friends and memories to be cherished.
Plans are all underway for a second Winter School to be held next year.
“The success of this camp has shown there is a real need for the higher education sector to connect with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the Winter School environment is an informative yet fun way to do this,” Professor Anita Lee Hong says.