Nura Gili News Edition 28 - Page 6

2016 UNSW Indigenous Winter School Once again, the annual 2016 UNSW Indigenous Winter School Program will take place on the 4th of July. This year, 110 high school students, in years 10, 11 & 12 will visit UNSW from all states of Australia, excluding the ACT. This is a rewarding experience for staff who watch the students grow both socially and academically during their time at Winter School. “As a staff member, there’s no better feeling than getting to the end of the week and hearing a student tell you not only how much they enjoyed the program, but what a difference it’s made in their plans for the future,” Cheryl observed. When applying, students had a choice to participate in one of 11 faculty areas, all of which provide a timetable that includes a combination of in-class sessions as well as practical activities and/or excursions and industry visits. The faculty areas involved in this year’s program include Built Environment, Business, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, Performing Arts, Social Work, Indigenous Studies and Visual Arts. Some of the activities for each Faculty will include a field trip to the Sydney Opera House for Built Environment, a Pitch in a Lift activity for Business, a visit to Bundeena National Park for Education, a tour of the ABC Centre in Ultimo for Engineering, a Botanical Garden tour for Indigenous Studies, a visit to Gilbert & Tobin Law Firm for Law, an excursion to St Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Department for Medicine, dance and creative workshops for Performing Arts, an excursion to the Museum of Human Disease for Science, sessions on Refugees in Australia for Social Work and Digital Imaging and Printmaking for Visual Arts. The Winter School Program aims to provide participants with an understanding of their chosen faculty, information on studying at UNSW and an insight into future career paths. Vanessa Turnbull Roberts, a current UNSW and Nura Gili student, has participated in and been a Supervisor for the UNSW Indigenous Winter School. She was also the recipient of the 2014 Winter School ‘Spirit Award’. “My favourite memory at Winter School would have to be the relationships formed with some incredible people. I met some of my closest friends, who I still keep in close contact with today,” said Vanessa. During her time as a Winter School Student Supervisor of the Performing Arts group, Vanessa recalls the students’ passion and drive for education and culture. “I had the opportunity to watch all these incredible young people grow in five days which is something that I’ll always hold close to me,” she said. Cheryl Ah-See, the Winter School Coordinator, spoke of how Winter School introduces Indigenous students to opportunities that they aren’t aware are available to them after high school. “So many students tell us each year that they never thought of University as an option for them, or that they don’t believe they’re smart enough to go to uni, but Winter School changes all that,” said Cheryl. Since its establishment in 2002, Winter School has been a major influence in the students’ decision to study at UNSW. “Since 2010, around 800 students have participated in the program and almost 120 ended up studying at UNSW. Of our current cohort, 29% came through the Winter School,” Cheryl explained. Photo: Students and staff of the 2015 UNSW Indigenous Winter School Program Apart from the academic timetable, students will take part in a number of fun activities and events, including Trivia, a Movie Night and a Disco. A formal dinner will also be held on Thursday, July 7, at Souths Juniors which will include guest speakers Moana Prescott, a current UNSW Architecture student and 2013 Winter School participant, Professor Merlin Crossley, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), and one of Nura Gili’s family connections, the Hobdays including Steven, who is currently in his first year studying Science, Scott who is in his third year studying Criminology and Danielle, who has recently completed her final semester of studying a Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice/Law. On Friday, July 8, the Winter School Graduation Ceremony will take place in the UNSW Law Theatre. Both family and friends of the participants are welcome to attend the event, where students will be presented with a Certificate of Participation and have the opportunity to don official UNSW Graduation Gowns. The guest speaker will be Jacob Hyland, a UNSW Indigenous Engineering Alumni and previous Winter School participant. Nura Gili is excited to host the 15th UNSW Indigenous Winter School which will conclude on Saturday the 9th of July. Each year Student Supervisors and staff dedicate a week of their time to Winter School, not including the months of preparation prior to the program. This year there are 41 Staff and Student Supervisors involved in the Winter School Program including: the Winter School Program Coordinator, Cheryl Ah-See; Day Coordinators, Summa Naylor and Rebekah Torrens; Night Coordinators, Leearna Williams and Scott Parlett; and Senior Supervisors, Lucinda Stewart and Guy Dennis. 6 7