The University of Wollongong’s Inaugural Indigenous Student Summer Camp provided an opportunity for Indigenous High School students from across NSW that have a future interest in a health career to examine the pathways available to them when they graduate from high school.
The Summer Camp has been developed as part of the Federal Government, Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding scheme and the Rural Clinical Training Scheme (RCTS). It aims to increase the number of Indigenous students following a health/ science career pathways at UOW. The Camp was collaboration between the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH), Woolyungah Indigenous Centre (WIC), Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and SHARP.
The Indigenous Health Student Summer Camp run by The University of Wollongong, was developed to provide students with a full University experience. Students participated in interactive sessions run by the different schools across the SMAH Faculty and hear from staff and students from Woolyungah. Local Indigenous health workers presented different career paths they have taken such as Indigenous health workers from the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service, Medicare Local and NSW health. Students also experienced the lifestyle of Wollongong such as surfing lessons at North Wollongong beach while staying at the college residences. The sessions were both educational and recreational with primary focus was to provide students an understanding of different health degrees. It was also important to provide information on health careers and support services available at UOW, particularly through Woolyungah. The schools which were involved in delivering one hour interactive and engaging sessions included the Graduate School of Medicine, Nursing, Exercise Science and Biology. Woolyungah hosted the welcome to country provide by Uncle Richard Davis. They also gave an overview of their support services including tutoring and the alternative admissions process followed by morning tea on the first day and lunch and close on the final day.