The University of Sydney
DOWN THE TRACK
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FEBRUARY 2013
The University of Sydney's Social Inclusion Unit would like to welcome you to our first edition of Down the Track for 2013.  We hope all our friends in the bush have survived a savage fire season.

The University of Sydney is committed to building and implementing sustainable programs to build capacity to attend higher education and supports the development of programs and policy to make the University of Sydney accessible and appealing to the most promising students from our diverse community.

Specifically, the University of Sydney leads and supports programs and initiatives to build school and community capacity to attend higher education. 

The University of Sydney’s Compass program aims to encourage those primary and secondary school students who are traditionally less likely to participate in higher education to stay engaged in education.

The University of Sydney is a partner in the Bridges to Higher Education program. Bridges is a partnership of five Sydney universities working with schools and communities to improve the participation of students from disadvantaged communities in higher education. For more information about Bridges please visit their website at Bridges to Higher Education

If you would like to subscribe to our e-news or provide feedback please email Trish Di-Masi, or visit our regional website
UNIVERSITY TALKS FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS: TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE
 BRIDGES TO HIGH EDUCATION YOUTUBE CHANNEL    |  
Videoconference Series
Videoconference talks by academics from University of Western Sydney, Macquarie University, The University of Sydney and Australian Catholic University on different aspects of technology and science are now available through the “Bridges to Higher Education” YouTube channel.  Recorded late in 2012, these talks were planned in consultation with the Department of Education and Communities using Connected Classrooms technology, with several schools linked in.  Subject content is designed for year 9 students but could also be shown to other age groups.  Each talk runs for around approximately 25-30 minutes.    

The talks are: 
The next talks in the series will be on a variety of sciences and are scheduled to be recorded on 4 April 2013.  Your feedback on these resources is welcome.  Please send it Attention: Project Chair at: bridgesconnect@mq.edu.au
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ENGINEERING A FUTURE
 AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ENGINEERING SUMMER SCHOOL IAESS    |  
Engineers of the Future
Horn Island off Australia's Cape York Peninsula is a long way from Sydney, but two students from the tiny Far North Queensland Island have made the 2,750-kilometre trip to be part of the annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS) at the University of Sydney, which ran from 13 to 19 January 2013.

The boys, who travel by ferry each day to Thursday Island to attend Tagai State College, say it is their lifelong dream to become engineers.


Horn Island off Australia's Cape York Peninsula is a long way from Sydney, but two students from the tiny Far North Queensland Island have made the 2,750-kilometre trip to be part of the annual Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS) at the University of Sydney, which ran from 13 to 19 January 2013.

The boys, who travel by ferry each day to Thursday Island to attend Tagai State College, say it is their lifelong dream to become engineers.

Seventeen-year-old Anton Solomon says he wanted to attend this year's IAESS to get a better idea of which area of engineering he would like to pursue. His friend and travel companion Paul Murde, pictured below, has his sights set on becoming a mechanical engineer.  Both were attracted to the idea of meeting real-life engineers who could guide them on what the profession holds and getting a better understanding of university life during the week-long program.

"My strongest subjects at school are math and English. I love math and it will bring me closer to my goal of becoming an engineer," says Paul.

Anton said the epic journey will translate into a life-changing experience that will help guide him with his engineering study choices.

While others enjoy their holidays swimming and fishing Paul and Anton spend their time repairing outboard motors, trucks or dirt bikes.  The boys and their fellow students spent the week visiting engineering sites such as Garden Island Naval Base, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and Qantas. They also partook in hands-on engineering workshops such as building prosthetic legs and operating robotic arms.

NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello, joined industry representatives to speak with students about their career options in engineering and the importance of building capacity in the community.

Senior lecturer at the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and academic overseer of this year's program, Dr Doug Auld says the school gives students an indication of the level of dedication and study required to become an engineer. "Students need to keep up their math and science if they want to be an engineer."

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ANIMATION WORKSHOP IN DUBBO
 LETS GET CREATIVE    |  
Animating Dubbo
Year 11 & 12 students from the Dubbo Senior College were highly animated in November 2012, especially since participating in the first-regional Compass Stop Motion Animation program facilitated by Jack McGrath, a Sydney College of the Arts lecturer and filmmaker.
Year 11 & 12 students from the Dubbo Senior College were highly animated in November 2012, especially since participating in the first-regional Compass Stop Motion Animation program facilitated by Jack McGrath, a Sydney College of the Arts lecturer and filmmaker.

Stop Motion Animation is a fun, engaging workshop that introduces students to the basics of film and video production. The program engages the students across a number of key learning areas including literacy and ICT skills, as well as complementing the design and technology syllabus.  As McGrath points out, "Creativity [itself] is an asset and needs to be developed as much as other areas of the curriculum." 

The workshop gave the students an opportunity to produce their own stop motion animation.  This process required students to have a clear idea of a narrative arch as well as real attention to detail.  Characters and objects were photographed one frame at a time, then edited to create a short film.  The creative, hands-on process of the stop motion medium is highly engaging for all students.  The course introduces students to the fundamentals of the animation production process; from developing an idea through to execution and screening.  Working in small groups, the students develop a narrative storyboard, create characters and props, produce a short film and add final effects.

One of the great outcomes of the program is that students have a final product that they are able to add to their portfolio if they choose to continue with further study or work in the creative arena. Please follow this link to view them at Dubbo Senior College Short Films

Jack expressed great admiration for the students and staff at Dubbo senior college.  The enthusiasm, creativity and imagination of the Dubbo students and their teacher, Jodie Gadem resulted in three great films at the end of the three- day workshop.

For more information about Jack's workshops please check out the stories on our Compass website.
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2013 LEARNING WEEKS
 WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES    |  
Dubbo, Forbes and Broken Hill
The University of Sydney was very excited to launch its first learning week in June 2012 in Broken Hill.   Due to its success, we will be holding our 2013 learning week in Broken Hill in June as well as extending this exciting project into Dubbo and Forbes. 

The Compass team will be presenting study skills workshops to Year 10 and 11 students at Dubbo Senior College, Delroy and South Campus' on 4 & 5 February and more workshops will be run in Dubbo and Forbes in March and July.  Workshops will be Study Skills, Preparing for Senior Study, Promote Yourself and Thinking Ahead. Promote Yourself is designed to assist with writing scholarship applications and Thinking Ahead focuses on scholarships that are available and what students need to do know to plan and prepare for Year 12.

The University of Sydney’s Regional Project Officer, Trish Di-Masi spent time in 2012 consulting with schools and communities to see how best we can support high school students in regional communities.  If you think your school would like to host one or any of these workshops please contact Trish at Trish Dimasi
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BROKEN HILL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS LEARN HISTORY AND CREATE HISTORY
Willyama High School students hit the town
In December 2012, the Department of History hosted a group of twenty Year 12 students from Willyama High School. While here, the students undertook a series of activities at the Macleay and Nicholson Museums, the Rare Books Room at Fisher Library, and learned about the history of the Quadrangle and the University. They also had some non-history fun - enjoying rock climbing at The Ledge and evenings at Manly Beach, the city, and Chinatown.



In December 2012, the Department of History hosted a group of twenty Year 12 students from Willyama High School. While here, the students undertook a series of activities at the Macleay and Nicholson Museums, the Rare Books Room at Fisher Library, and learned about the history of the Quadrangle and the University. They also had some non-history fun - enjoying rock climbing at The Ledge and evenings at Manly Beach, the city and Chinatown.

Courtesy of a pioneering partnership with the City of Sydney, the students also got to explore the historic Rocks while participating in a new program aimed at mapping all the historical plaques in the City to create a new database for public use. One of the organisers of the visit, Associate Professor Michael McDonnell of the History Department, said that the students "not only learned about the history of the City, but got to create it too."

They are one of the first groups to help the City take stock of its own history. There are thousands of historic markers and plaques around the City, but there is no central registry of them. The City program will create an interactive database of these plaques so that users can search for specific names or places and then go out and view the plaques. This information will be uploaded to the City website. When people search for the plaques in years to come, they will see all this information, as well as the names of the Willyama High School students who compiled the notes.

City of Sydney Public Art Program Manager, Eva Rodriguez Riestra, said that the students' work will be "hugely beneficial for the City in the years to come."

"Often many people call in who want to find a plaque about one of their relatives. We can also much more easily replace vandalised and stolen plaques since we'll have a good record of them now."

Historian Michael McDonnell agreed: "The program really marks a turning point in the historical documentation of the City, and it is great that the students will be a historic part of that moment."

While at the University, the Willyama students stayed at Women's College, thanks to the generosity of Jane Williamson.

Students were welcomed by Jennifer Barrett, Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Regional Program Project Officer Trish Di-Masi.

The high school students were shown around campus by current history students and while on tour they were able to talk about the challenges and opportunities at University. Craig Barker from the University Museums then gave them an introduction to the Nicholson Museum and the fascinating history of the Quadrangle. Jude Philps and Jan Brazier of the Macleay Museum showed them a selection of the many rural town photographs of Charles Kerry, and prompted students to think about the kinds of photographs they might take of Broken Hill today.

Sara Hilder, the Exhibitions Coordinator of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library introduced students to some samples from the collection including 16th century music books and 20th century comics. Sara also managed to find newspaper accounts of recruiting drives in Broken Hill for the utopian community of 'New Australia' in Paraguay in the 1890s. The students were amazed to find that at least five people from their own town signed up for the colony, and pledged to try and find out what happened to them.

The diversity of the program also helped the students see the range of studies on offer at the University. Several noted that the visit inspired them to find out more about studying history, archaeology, architecture, sports science, and even the history of special and rare books. Many also reported that the visit was helpful as it informed them of the options available after they finish school. And some who had been to Sydney before said they had seen the city and the University "in a very different way" this time.

Michael McDonnell said he was really pleased with the three-day visit, and noted that he and the Willyama teachers are already making plans to do repeat the trip next year. Despite the planning and effort to come - over 17 hours on buses and trains each way - teachers Emelia Nairn, Ross Mackay and Ingrid Seck all agreed it was well worth it.

McDonnell concurred, noting: "Though the teachers emphasise how important these trips are for the students in Broken Hill, we think it is also important for those of us here. The students push us to think very differently about our view of the world, and about the University. They compel us to think what a truly inclusive University might look like."



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CONTENTS
University talks for school students: Technology & Science
Engineering a Future
Animation Workshop in Dubbo
2013 Learning Weeks
Broken Hill High School Students Learn History and Create History
Pharmacy attracts students from far far away
Rural Students attend Honeywell Summer School of Engineering
PHARMACY ATTRACTS STUDENTS FROM FAR FAR AWAY
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from as far as away as Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory attended the inaugural University of Sydney Pharmacy Indigenous Camp held in January.

Carissa James from Lismore in northern NSW and Alana Purcell from Cairns in Queensland (pictured), were among 22 high school students who attended the four-day Pharmacy Indigenous Camp (SydPIC). SydPic was aimed at boosting the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders currently employed in the pharmacy profession.

With fewer than 50 registered pharmacists in Australia who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, course coordinators Drs Nial Wheate and Rebekah Moles believe it is imperative more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacists be trained, particularly in regions where communities are lacking health professionals.

Dr Nial Wheate believes the shortage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pharmacists has been a result of lack of engagement with high school students about career options in pharmacy.

"We developed the camp to bring together interested students from all around Australia to get a taste of what it's like to be a pharmacist and experience university life first-hand.

"During the camp the students took part in pharmacy workshops and laboratory sessions. They produced their own aspirin, a standard tablet and hand creams."  They also visited metropolitan pharmacies of varying sizes and specialty, a site that produces Webster packs and a pharmacy based within a major hospital.

"We aimed to give our potential students a clearer idea of what to expect when studying at university and more particularly a career in pharmacy," Dr Wheate said.

Dr Rebekah Moles says recent reports show that while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders often consider pharmacists as more accessible and less intimidating than other health professionals, to date pharmacists have had little or no training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders health or cultural issues and consequently may fail to convey the correct messages about medication usage in terms understood by their clients.

RURAL STUDENTS ATTEND HONEYWELL SUMMER SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
In December 2012, six regional students from Dubbo and Forbes were awarded scholarships by the University of Sydney's Compass Program to attend the Honeywell Engineering Summer School (HESS) in Sydney.  The Summer School brings together 100 Year 11 students who are interested in pursuing engineering as a career. In past years students have come from all over NSW and the ACT, including regional and city centres such as Broken Hill, Tumbarumba and Inverell.

In December 2012, six regional students from Dubbo and Forbes were awarded scholarships by the University of Sydney's Compass Program to attend the Honeywell Engineering Summer School (HESS) in Sydney.  The Summer School brings together 100 Year 11 students who are interested in pursuing engineering as a career. In past years students have come from all over NSW and the ACT, including regional and city centres such as Broken Hill, Tumbarumba and Inverell.

Throughout the week-long program, students are introduced to five universities, including University of Sydney(host university), University of Western Sydney, University of Technology, Sydney, University of New South Wales, and University of Wollongong. The students are also taken behind the scenes of some major engineering companies and projects to see engineers at work.  Student feedback was excellent with one student commenting that "The five universities combined enhanced my knowledge about engineering as well as deciding that engineering is the career I want to go into. They gave me valuable information which helped contribute to my decision in engineering and which uni to go to".
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