Myth-busting uni camp opens education door for Indigenous youth
Indigenous high school students from Caboolture and Deception Bay to Gladstone and Rockhampton have taken university life for a test-drive at a four-day "myth busting" camp at QUT in Brisbane.
The "Go Further! QUT Experience", from February 7 to 10, attracted 94 students from Years 9 and 10, who were able to take part in the camp for free, thanks to sponsorship from QUT and Arrow Energy.
The teenagers did outdoor challenges at Camp Warrawee on the northern Brisbane outskirts, explored QUT's Gardens Point campus in the city heart, and attended the "Learn Earn Legend!" career expo at South Bank and the NRL Indigenous All Stars game at Suncorp Stadium.
QUT's Oodgeroo Unit director, Professor Anita Lee Hong, said the camp was the first of its kind.
"The camp name "Go Further!" is a fitting title because that's really what it's all about - encouraging these young people to realise that a university education is possible and that it can take you amazing places," Professor Lee Hong said.
"We wanted to dispel the myths about Indigenous people attending university by letting students explore a university first-hand, hear about the education options and financial assistance available, and be inspired by meeting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Ambassadors who are already studying toward their degrees.
"Camps of this nature have proven to have a positive and lasting effect on students, their families and ultimately their communities by improving access to education which flows on to create improved employment, economic and social outcomes."
The QUT camp attracted 19 students from North Rockhampton State High, 10 from Rockhampton State High, 21 from Gladstone State High, 20 from Toolooa State High, five from Tannum State High, seven from Caboolture State High, eight from Deception Bay State High, three from Cavendish Road State High and one from Corinda State High school.
They visited QUT's new Science and Engineering Centre, did crime-solving exercises with the Faculty of Law, body performance testing with the Faculty of Health and computer game design and boat design with the Science and Engineering Faculty.
Professor Lee Hong said QUT had almost 500 Indigenous students, with numbers growing each year.
The QUT Oodgeroo Unit is an education and research centre committed to developing better access to university education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and promoting higher levels of participation in higher education.
Arrow Energy is an integrated coal seam gas company committed to supporting the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students and recognises that many students are potentially the first in their family to consider higher education.
Media contact: Mechelle McMahon, QUT media officer, 07 3138 9449 (Mon & Thurs) or email@example.com (Mon-Fri)
** High-res photos of the schoool students visiting QUT's new Science and Engineering Centre are available for media use.