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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014 Changing Lives by Degrees Never Stand Still

Student Life and Learning

ASPIRE

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Contents 01 Mission 01 Mission 01 Vision 01 Vision 02 Highlights 02 Highlights 03 From the Director’s Chair 03 08 About ASPIRE 08 16 ASPIRE Partner Schools 16 22 Achieving Results 22 26 2014 in Review 26 46 Regional Round-up 46 54 ASPIRE Ambassadors 54 58 Educational Opportunities 58 64 Community Engagement 64 68 Indigenous Outreach 68 74 Future Directions 74

For more information about ASPIRE please contact: Dr Ann Jardine, Director, ASPIRE T 02 9385 4734 E a.jardine@unsw.edu.au www.aspire.unsw.edu.au Design & Printing: FAAST Print Photography: Neil Fenelon Photography neilfenelonphotography.com.au and members and friends of the ASPIRE team. ASPIRE is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and a donation by Citi Foundation.


ASPIRE Mission and Visionďťż 01

Mission: ASPIRE’s mission is to empower young people to access the education they deserve, regardless of their circumstances or background.

Every child has the right to: }} an education }} reach their academic potential }} access a university education }} a future of their own choosing

Vision: The ASPIRE program aims to address the underrepresentation of some parts of our Australian society in NSW higher education by helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve their academic goals.

ASPIRE works with communities to overcome the barriers facing students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access and succeed in a university education, inspiring them to look past today and consider what is possible. ASPIRE believes we must all ensure the next generation is equipped to compete on an even footing so that a university education is not dependent on where you were born, where you live, how much money your family has or where you went to school.


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Highlights

10,440

student engagements occurring in 2014

3 2013 %

since

increase

48

%

6,870

increase in the number of offers to university for students from all ASPIRE partner schools between

2010& 2015

students engaged in in-school workshops in 2014 compared with

6,695 2013 in

399

in-school workshops run in 2014 compared with

161 147% in 2010

138 $250,000 240

increase

regional students attended residential programs in Sydney won in Google Impact Challenge to develop interactive learning material and individualised educational support online parents and carers took part in university workshops and events

61% 2013 from

increase

$343,000 4,374

won from the Higher Education Participation Program National Priorities Pool for the metro community hub hours of volunteer time provided by UNSW ASPIRE Ambassadors in 2014

2.5% 2013 compared with

increase


From the Director’s Chair

03

From the Director’s Chair Writing the Annual Report is always a time of reflection for the ASPIRE team and for me as Director. As I look back across 2014, I am again struck by the depth and breadth of the program and the great partnership we have with our 57 schools. Our partner schools are rich and varied in their school populations, in the communities in which they sit and in the challenges they face. Our largest school is a high school with over 1,220 students; our smallest is a primary school with just three students. The closest school lies virtually on the doorstep of the UNSW campus, while the furthest school is over 700kms away near the NSW/Queensland border.

Of our 27 primary and high schools spread across Sydney, 11 have school populations where at least 90% come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Many are refugees who have not been in Australia for long. Within our 30 regional NSW primary, high and central (Kindergarten to Year 12) schools, eight have Indigenous populations of over 50% and 15 are regarded as being in remote locations. Despite their differences, what unites all our schools is a deep commitment to their students and to providing them with every educational opportunity. For us in ASPIRE, we are proud to work with them in raising the aspirations and awareness of their students so that at the end of their schooling, a university education is an option they may consider.

Increasing student engagement In 2014, ASPIRE engaged with students on over 10,000 occasions. These interactions included 399 in-school workshops, and 16 on-campus days for Years 5,8,9,10 and 11. We introduced 138 regional students in Years 8, 10 and 11 to university and city life through our residential programs held in Sydney. We also held two major events in regional NSW for Years 9 and 10. Building on the

After a colourful traditional dance item by James Meehan students at the conclusion of ASPIRE’s Step UP event, Mr Fou Atonio, Pacific Island Community Liaison Officer, presented Dr Ann Jardine with a Certificate of Appreciation for the outstanding contribution ASPIRE has made to the Pacific Islander Cultural Activities. Gail Taylor, James Meehan High School Principal (second from right) and Debbie Vadasz, ASPIRE Project Officer, joined the presentation on stage.

successful pilot held in Dubbo last year, Year 9 regional students were again offered a range of practical subject-specific workshops designed to encourage them to think about subject options in the future. Our Year 12 regional students participated in a new workshop called ‘Independence Day’. Regional students face specific challenges in moving long distances from home to attend university. Independence Day gave them some insights into how

to cope, what support services are available, tips on budgeting and how to look after themselves when away from home.

Building internal relationships While the in-school workshops and on-campus activities remain the backbone of the program, ASPIRE provides a raft of other opportunities to engage across the UNSW community. In 2014, students from ASPIRE Sydney schools again attended the UNSW Three Minute Thesis


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

competition where they voted for the presentation they thought the best. Participating in the competition provides the students with a first-hand look at what can be gained from more in-depth research studies. For senior school students who have specific interests, we were able to offer opportunities to engage with staff and students in UNSW faculties. Activities included a day with the Built Environment faculty focusing on architecture, a medical sciences day, and working with UNSW media students after attending the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

On another level, a strong regional partnership with Western Plains Regional Development has resulted in ASPIRE piloting a Homework Club in the town of Condobolin. The Club eventuated after discussions with the local community about how to connect with students who might feel disengaged from school. High school students were offered small

During the year we ran an ambitious pilot bringing 11 parents and carers from Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo to Sydney for a week-long residential program. The aim was to break down barriers and misconceptions about big city educational institutions and to encourage champions of university education in the local community. Feedback on the visit has been very positive.

Reaching out into the wider community The increasing and welcome involvement of external organisations with ASPIRE is indeed uplifting. The partnership with Centennial Parklands grew stronger in 2014 with over 200 Year 6 students and 100 Year 10 students visiting the Parklands and working with rangers. Other engagements for senior school students included a visit to the architectural firm Jackson Teece, the ABC studios, and the Children’s Cancer Institute. During the Year 8 regional residential, students were taken behind the scenes at Google, and Customs and Border Protection. The more students experience ‘working degrees’, the more they appreciate the rewards of pursuing a university education. These opportunities enable students to make stronger links between degree choices and career options. Such links are very important in enabling students to think about coming to university. We are very grateful for the time our community partners give to the program.

group support, particularly in the area of maths, on a weekly basis at a designated centre after school. Activities were also run for younger students during the school holidays. Feedback from the pilot has been very positive and the Club has been extended into 2015.

Involving parents and carers Building opportunities to engage with parents and carers has always been an important component of the ASPIRE program. The support a student receives from their home environment cannot be underestimated in helping forge their future pathways.

ASPIRE Ambassadors play a key role in the program’s success.

Championing UNSW student involvement It was another fantastic year of support from our ASPIRE Ambassadors. The enthusiasm with which our UNSW students engage with ASPIRE is heartwarming. They freely gave a total of nearly 4,500 hours of their valuable time to support our work both in schools and on campus. The response we receive from students and teachers about their interactions with our volunteers is overwhelmingly positive. School students love talking with our students. They are fine ambassadors for the program and for the University.


From the Director’s Chair 05

Receiving a financial boost The ASPIRE program continues to look at different ways to engage with our partner schools and communities, while remaining true to our vision and aims. We were very excited to win two competitive grants that will enable us to pilot two new initiatives in 2015. The first grant was through the Google Impact Challenge. The $250,000 awarded to ASPIRE will enable us to build the ASPIRE Hangout, a web presence aimed at providing academic enrichment opportunities for students, and making stronger links between subject, degree and career. This online learning environment will complement the PAThS for Learning web project which aims to build skills in the three Rs: resilience, resourcefulness and reflection.

Future funding challenges

The second grant of $343,000, won through the Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) National Priorities Pool, will expand the work we do in communities by establishing an ASPIRE community hub in a Sydney suburb. An ASPIRE Project Officer will be locally based to connect with the broader community.

Building social capital benefits all

Celebrating our success The reflection on 2014 cannot be complete without mention of the launch of the 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports. It was an occasion where we were able to bring together our schools and others who have supported our work. We were honoured to have the event hosted by our Chancellor Mr David Gonski and the Vice Chancellor Mr Fred Hilmer. The ongoing support of our Chancellor has been uplifting for all of us involved in the program.

Dr Ann Jardine with the finalists from the Google Impact Challenge.

Much of the outreach work undertaken by universities in Australia has been dependent on external Federal Government funds. The ASPIRE program is fortunate to have secured funding until the end of 2015. Across 2015 we will be working hard to secure the financial support required to keep the program going.

I am often asked why programs such as ASPIRE are important. For those who like statistics, one needs to look no further than the continued low rates of access and participation of students from low socio-economic backgrounds which are summarised on the following page. It is clear that there is a whole section of society that needs a helping hand. Giving them support into higher education benefits all of us as a society. Universities have the opportunity and obligation to lead the charge in ensuring that social background is not a barrier to capable students achieving a university education and contributing to Australia’s future. At this point, it seems fitting to end my report with a quote:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Dr Ann Jardine Director ASPIRE


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014


From the Director’s Chair 07

Why university outreach matters 14.36%

11.12%

9.25%

of all school leavers who started university in 2013 came from low SES backgrounds.

11.68%

Almost

average access rate in 2013 to GO8 students from regional and remote NSW compared with 22.22% for the sector.

of all students from low SES backgrounds who applied and received an offer to a GO8 institution in 2014 compared with 46.32% from high SES backgrounds.

average access rate of school leavers from low SES backgrounds to a GO8 institution in 2013.

18%

of Australian children live School leavers from northern and eastern Sydney are most likely to go to university.

below the poverty line*

Students from regional and remote NSW are least likely.

Access rates into GO8s from low SES students are lower than the sector rates, however students who go to a GO8 are more likely to stay and more likely to pass their subjects when compared with the rest of the sector.

2.5 years

the average gap in mathematical, scientific and reading literacies betweeen students from high SES and low SES backgrounds by the age of 15

Students from low SES backgrounds are more likely to apply to Nursing and Education degree programs and less likely to apply for Medicine, Commerce and Creative Arts.

Percentage of school leavers entering a degree program increases as SES increases

SES

SES

Explanatory notes: • Access rate is the proportion of all commencing domestic students from a given group • Participation rate is proportion of all domestic students from a given group • Low SES is defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Area Level 1 geographic code measure. “The SA1 is the second smallest geographic area defined in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), the smallest being the Mesh Block. The SA1 has been designed for use in the Census of Population and Housing as the smallest unit for the processing and release of Census data.” (ABS 2011 Census Dictionary www.abs.gov.au) • GO8 - Australia’s Group of Eight of leading research intensive universities References: • Polesel, J., Leahy, M., Dulhunty, M., & Gillis, S. (2013) Expectations and Destinations of NSW Senior High School Students. NSW Department of Education and Communities • Thomson, S. (2011) Challenges for Australian education ACER • Latest equity data compiled by the Federal Department of Education www.education.gov.au/higher-education-statistics • *Poverty in Australia 2014 (2014) Australian Council of Social Service


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

About ASPIRE ASPIRE is an outreach program that works with students from disadvantaged backgrounds to increase their educational aspirations and help them access a university education.


About ASPIRE

The program has been developed using long-term strategies that current research shows are effective in fostering a greater awareness of and aspiration to university among students who may not have considered a university education before. These strategies are based on: }} frequent and sustained contact with students from a young age }} interactions in the classroom }} bringing students onto a university campus }} providing access to relevant information }} creating additional educational opportunities so students see the relationship between school, university and job options }} working with the wider school community to foster aspirational support

$6,532,695 Total funds won between 2009-2014 through competitive bid submissions compiled by Dr Ann Jardine and the ASPIRE team. While many university outreach programs have similar components, the ASPIRE model is unique in Australia for its depth and breadth. One-off excursions to a university campus and the odd in-school workshop will not provide long term results. ASPIRE offers the same group of low SES students from

partner schools multiple interactions with the program throughout their school lives. In this way, ASPIRE builds academic confidence in students who could benefit from pursuing university study. ASPIRE’s comprehensive approach in working with schools and the community over a long period helps shift longstanding perceptions held by many that, compared with high SES students, students from low SES backgrounds can’t, won’t or shouldn’t go to university. ASPIRE seeks to challenge these entrenched stereotypes. This report shows the potential benefits to society as a whole in lifting academic aspiration in students from disadvantaged backgrounds and giving them access to the education and future they deserve.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Funding In 2014 ASPIRE was funded primarily by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, through the Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP). It was also funded by UNSW through substantial in-kind support and a generous donation from the Citi Foundation. ASPIRE meets all costs of partner schools to take part in the program. These include transport, food and accommodation costs for students to participate in on-campus events. The majority of the existing external funding ceases in 2015.

“We could never replicate what ASPIRE does for our students. You take away this program and there’s a whole lot of kids who will never make it to university and never experience the social mobility higher education leads to. We, as a society, should not squander the potential that exists in low socioeconomic schools.” Dorothy Hoddinott, Principal, Holroyd High School

Evaluation It is recognised that many of the benefits of programs such as ASPIRE are not evident in the short term. What is being attempted is generational change. ASPIRE has established an evaluation framework for assessing the impact of the program. The framework includes short-term strategies such as feedback, and longer term qualitative and quantitative strategies. Feedback received on the activities helps to inform development. Qualitative data is collected on attitudinal shifts of students over time and on the perceptions of school staff and students of the short term impact of the program. Quantitative data on offers to university and offers to and enrolment in UNSW is collected in order to track longer term trends.


About ASPIRE

Growth of ASPIRE 2007-2014

Student engagement opportunities 2014

Students at in-school workshops

2013

Students at on-campus activities

2012

Instances of student engagements

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 0

2000

4000

6000

8000

10000 12000

Expansion of the ASPIRE program 2014

Residentials

2013

Regional in-school workshops Metro in-school workshops

2012

On-campus activities

2011

ASPIRE partner schools 2010 2009 2008 2007 0

50

100

150

200

250

300

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE Organisational Structure As at 31 December 2014

Director

Operations Manager

Team Leader Metro Sydney

Team Leader Regional NSW

Team Leader Community Engagement

Project Officer

Project Officer

Indigenous Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Project Officer

Academic Attainment

Evaluation

Administration


About ASPIRE

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE Learning Framework The learning framework is the blueprint of the ASPIRE program. It sets out the structure of the program and how the activities are rolled out across the student year groups from Kindergarten to Year 12. The foundations of the program are: }} Raising awareness }} Raising and supporting aspirations }} Assisting attainment To maintain coherency, every stage of the program has a planned sequence of ageappropriate activities and experiences with studentfocused outcomes.

As students progress through each sequence, the program builds on previous ASPIRE interactions. The activities encourage more lateral thinking about what their futures may hold and how they can achieve it. Even students who may not have their sights set on higher education benefit from the ASPIRE program.

All students become more confident in themselves and motivated about setting goals for the future they want to have. Towards the final years of school, the program becomes more focused on those students who are keen to enter university and assisting them to get there.


awareness

About ASPIRE

K-Year 4 }} short in-school workshops

Raise awareness }} Increase understanding of Higher Education (HE) }} Build self-esteem

Years 5/6 }} short in-school workshops }} on-campus visits – XPLORE UNSW! }} workplace visits }} subject-specific days

}} Discover the possibilities outside their environment }} Increase awareness of skills and interests }} Increase awareness of pathways to jobs

aspirations

Years 7/8 }} extended in-school workshops }} on-campus visits – Uni for a Day }} workplace visits }} subject-specific days }} residential – Beyond the Gate

Years 9/10 }} extended in-school workshops }} on-campus visits – Taster Day }} mentoring }} workplace visits }} subject-specific days }} residential – WOW@UNSW work experience

attainment

Years 11/12 }} extended in-school workshops }} on-campus visits – Step UP; Student Shadowing }} mentoring }} tutoring }} Study Buddies }} subject-specific days

Ongoing support for all years }} teacher follow-up work }} activities/talks for parents and carers }} individual school on-campus visits }} community events }} online materials }} information booklets

Raise aspirations }} Increase confidence in ability to enter HE }} Increase motivation to enter HE }} Increase knowledge of education and career options

Raise attainment }} Ability and knowledge to make informed choices relating to HE and career aspirations }} Increase familiarity with application process and selection requirements }} Improve awareness and ability to apply skills required to operate successfully in an HE environment }} Assist attainment through the provision of academic enrichment opportunities

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE Partner Schools ASPIRE partnered with 57 primary, high and central schools in NSW in 2014, working with students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The ASPIRE school network comprises 27 Sydney metro schools and 30 regional schools.


ASPIRE Partner Schools

Snapshot of ASPIRE partner schools Lowest school ICSEA1 No. of schools regarded as remote

All schools

Metro

Regional

565

767

565

15

0

15

No. of schools that have an ATSI2 population of 80% or higher

3

0

3

No. of schools that have an ATSI population of 50% or higher

8

1

7

No. of schools that have LBOTE population of 90% or higher

11

11

0

No. of schools that have LBOTE population of over 50%

22

22

0

3

No. of schools that have over 50% of population in bottom SES quartile

37

20

17

No. of schools that have over 25% of population in bottom SES quartile

50

24

26

No. of enrolments (school size)

smallest:

3

43

3

largest:

1220

1220

399

8

4 boys’ schools

0

Single sex schools

4 girls’ schools Source: Data taken from My School website 2014

ASPIRE partner school criteria At the time they became ASPIRE partner schools, every school met at least three of the following criteria: These criteria included: }} being a low SES School Communities National Partnership school }} being a NSW Department of Education and Communities Priority Schools Program school }} having a score below 1000 on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) }} having a low progression rate to higher education at the school or at the community level It is important to note that, while these criteria may categorise schools by social or economic disadvantage, they are not a measure of their students’ academic potential.

1

ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage)

2

ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) data unavailable for two regional schools

3

LBOTE (Language Background Other Than English)

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Regional Partner Schools Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)4 table for ASPIRE regional partner schools5 Year Joined ASPIRE 2010

School

Location

Type of school

Quandialla Central School

Provincial

Central

ICSEA

Number of students in school

Indigenous %

Language Other Than English %

% in bottom quartile

941

29

7

0

53

2010

Tullibigeal Central School

Remote

Central

945

48

8

0

44

2010

Ungarie Central School

Provincial

Central

957

89

4

0

48

2010

Condobolin High School

Provincial

High

827

220

48

1

65

2010

Lake Cargelligo Central School

2011

Binnaway Central School

Remote

Central

858

253

39

2

57

Provincial

Central

891

92

24

7

54

2011

Baradine Central School

Remote

Central

781

114

49

0

76

2011

Coonamble High School

Remote

High

776

199

66

0

67

2011

Dunedoo Central School

Provincial

Central

923

203

19

1

47

2011

Coonamble Public School

Remote

Primary

683

215

90

0

82

2012

Euabalong West Public School

Remote

Primary

881

17

29

0

49

2012

Carinda Public School

Remote

Primary

1002

22

0

0

24

2012

Saint Francis Xavier Lake Cargelligo

Remote

Primary

858

36

64

0

43

2012

Gulargambone Central School

Remote

Central

747

69

74

0

75

2012

Walgett Community College

Remote

High

661

95

98

2

86

2012

Walgett Primary

Remote

Primary

565

125

99

0

97

2012

Gilgandra Public School

Provincial

Primary

837

173

46

3

61

2012

Condobolin Public School

Provincial

Primary

825

272

45

1

67

2012

Gilgandra High School

Provincial

High

895

285

24

3

57

2012

Coonabarabran High School

Provincial

High

925

360

19

4

46

2012

Lightning Ridge Central School

Remote

Central

830

399

45

10

63

2013

Marra Creek Public School

Remote

Primary

N/A

3

67

0

0

2013

Bribbaree Public School

Provincial

Primary

899

14

0

0

79

2013

Caragabal Public School

Provincial

Primary

1001

22

5

0

34

2013

Quambone Public School

Remote

Primary

857

24

33

0

54

2013

St Michael’s Dunedoo

Provincial

Primary

1057

35

0

0

5

Provincial

Primary

1051

45

0

0

16

Remote

Primary

961

49

20

0

32

2013

Sacred Heart Coolah

2013

St John’s Baradine

2013

Mendooran Central School

Provincial

Central

894

104

19

1

61

2013

Coolah Central School

Provincial

Central

939

229

11

1

48

4

An ICSEA score below 1000 indicates disadvantage

5

Information about schools taken from My School website 2014


ASPIRE Partner Schools

19

Sydney Partner Schools Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)6 table for ASPIRE Sydney partner schools7 Year Joined ASPIRE 2007

School

ICSEA

Number of students in school

Indigenous %

Language Other Than English %

% in bottom quartile

379

7

84

39

Location

Type of school

Metro

High

968

Marrickville High School

2007

Dulwich Hill High School

Metro

High

1055

634

3

47

16

2008

Matraville Sports High School

Metro

High

887

268

29

29

55

2008

JJ Cahill Memorial High School

Metro

High

970

374

5

72

40

2009

La Perouse Public School

Metro

Primary

767

43

77

12

66

2009

Gardeners Road Public School

Metro

Primary

1015

272

5

68

25

2009

Canterbury Boys High School

Metro

High

986

407

1

89

35

2009

Granville Boys High School

Metro

High

890

514

0

98

73

2009

Holroyd High School

Metro

High

916

552

0

91

61

2009

Wiley Park Girls High School

Metro

High

937

557

0

98

56

2009

Bankstown Girls High School

Metro

High

934

603

0

96

58

2009

Bass High School

Metro

High

908

742

2

76

66

2009

Auburn Girls High School

Metro

High

898

780

1

98

70

2010

Matraville Soldiers Settlement Public School

Metro

Primary

979

220

20

35

27

2011

Granville South Public School

Metro

Primary

932

261

0

90

60

2011

Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School

Metro

High

883

511

1

90

74

2011

Chester Hill North Public School

Metro

Primary

945

538

3

82

52

2011

Chester Hill High School

Metro

High

933

1220

1

87

57

2012

Birrong Boys High School

Metro

High

897

338

1

96

68

2012

Alexandria Park Community School

Metro

Combined

1029

548

17

76

17

2012

Chester Hill Public School

Metro

Primary

941

582

1

86

55

2013

Belmore Boys High School

Metro

High

944

318

0

97

52

2013

James Meehan High School

Metro

High

864

342

12

49

77

2013

Old Guildford Public School

Metro

Primary

871

358

2

99

81

2013

Guildford Public School

Metro

Primary

948

478

1

89

51

2013

Strathfield South High School

Metro

High

939

642

1

89

54

2013

Birrong Girls High School

Metro

High

945

815

1

93

56

6

An ICSEA score below 1000 indicates disadvantage

7

Information about schools taken from My School website 2014


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Approximate distance from Sydney Baradine ........................... 511 Binnaway........................... 436 Bribbaree........................... 415 Caragabal ........................ 410 Carinda.............................. 660 Condobolin ..................... 460 Coolah .............................. 370 Coonabarabran.................. 460 Coonamble........................ 540 Dunedoo ........................... 357 Euabalong West ............... 570

Gilgandra........................... 445 Gulargambone .................. 495 Lake Cargelligo.................. 600 Lightning Ridge ............... 735 Marra Creek ..................... 600 Mendooran........................ 390 Quambone ........................ 590 Quandialla ........................ 430 Tullibigeal ........................ 563 Ungarie ........................... 530 Walgett.............................. 660

kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms

Regional NSW Partner School Locations REGIONAL NSW PARTNER SCHOOL LOCATIONS LIGHTNING RIDGE WALGETT

Bourke

Queensland

CARINDA QUAMBONE

Cobar

COONABARABRAN

GULARGAMBONE

Nyngan

Broken Hill

BARADINE

COONAMBLE MARRA CREEK

Coolabah

Warren

GILGANDRA MENDOORAN

Trangie

Nymagee Tottenham

Dubbo

EUABALONG WEST LAKE CARGELLIGO

Wellington

Adelaide via Mildura

Mudgee

Trundle

CONDOBOLIN

Parkes Orange

Forbes

TULLIBIGEAL

COOLAH

Gulgong

Gilgunnia

Mount Hope

BINNAWAY

DUNEDOO

Tullamore

UNGARIE CARAGABAL

Grenfell

QUANDIALLA BRIBBAREE

e

an

sb

Bri

Cowra

Canberra

Bathurst

Sydney

Tamworth

kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms kms


ASPIRE Partner Schools

Sydney Partner School Locations

Parramatta

GREYSTANES

Ryde Rosehill Sydney Olympic Park

North Sydney Drummoyne

Concord

Lidcombe

CHESTER HILL BIRRONG BASS HILL

Cabramatta

Balmain

Punchbowl

DULWICH HILL

Earlwood

WILEY PARK

Holsworthy

MACQUARIE FIELDS

Revesby

SYDNEY Stanmore

Bondi Beach

Redfern

ALEXANDRIA MARRICKVILLE Kensington Tempe

UNSW Randwick

ROSEBERY MASCOT

Coogee

Maroubra

Kingsgrove Padstow

Vaucluse

Leichhardt

CANTERBURY BELMORE

BANKSTOWN

Mosman

Five Dock

STRATHFIELD

FairямБeld

Liverpool

Crows Nest

Gladesville

GRANVILLE

GUILDFORD AUBURN

Lane Cove

Rockdale Brighton-Le-Sands Kogarah

MATRAVILLE

Hurstville

LA PEROUSE Botany Bay

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Achieving Results We are proud of the growing impact of the ASPIRE program. ASPIRE’s distinctive approach in emphasising an early and sustained engagement with students across their schooling is continuing to produce positive results.


Achieving Results

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Results 2010 – 2014 The qualitative data from the staff and students in our ASPIRE partner schools tells us of the positive impact on the higher education hopes and dreams of individuals. The quantitative data that is emerging tells us that there has been a positive impact on attitudes towards higher education and on enrolments in university. This is significantly higher in schools that have had a longer association with ASPIRE and indicates the longitudinal effect of the program.

Results between 2010 and 2015 for current Year 12 school leavers:

48% increase in offers to university for students from all ASPIRE partner schools

200% increase in offers to UNSW for students from ASPIRE partner schools

Attitudinal shifts 2014

29% of students from regional schools indicated a positive shift in attitudes towards higher education

62% increase in offers to university for students from schools who have been with ASPIRE for four years or more compared with a 45% increase for a control group of schools

257%

increase in enrolments at UNSW of students from ASPIRE partner schools

77% of Year 9 and 10 metropolitan students indicated positive attitudes overall towards higher education

70% increase in offers to university for students at ASPIRE partner schools that are single sex girls’ schools

14% of all university enrolments in 2014 of students from ASPIRE partner schools were to UNSW. In 2010 this was 4%

89% of Year 11 metropolitan students indicated they would go to university


Achieving Results

Offers and Enrolments Offers8

2015

2010

% change

Offers to university (all schools)

710

479

48%

Offers to university (ASPIRE schools 2010 and before)

357

220

62%

Offers to university (ASPIRE schools after 2010)

353

259

36%

Offers to university (girls’ schools)

272

160

70%

Offers to university (boys’ schools)

98

76

29%

Offers to university (co-ed schools)

317

243

30%

2015

2010

% change

Enrolment (all)

360

359

0.3%

Enrolment (ASPIRE schools 2010 and before)

176

168

5%

Enrolment (ASPIRE schools after 2010)

184

191

-3.5%

2015

2010

% change

Offers to UNSW (all)

60

52

15%

Enrolled to UNSW (all)

50

41

22%

83%

79%

4%

Offers to UNSW ( ASPIRE schools ≤ 2010)

29

20

45%

Enrolled to UNSW (ASPIRE schools ≤ 2010)

26

14

86%

90%

70%

20%

Offers to UNSW ( ASPIRE schools > 2010)

31

32

-3%

Enrolled to UNSW (ASPIRE schools > 2010)

24

27

-11%

% of offers that enrolled (ASPIRE schools > 2010)

77%

84%

-7%

UNSW Offers & Student Type

2015

2010

% change

Current year 12 (ASPIRE schools)

60

20

200%

Enrolled

50

14

257%

Offers to UNSW as a % of total of all university offers

8.5%

4%

4.5%

Enrolments to UNSW as a % of total of all university enrolments

14%

4%

10%

Offers that Enrolled

UNSW Offers

% of offers that enrolled (all)

% of offers that enrolled (ASPIRE schools ≤ 2010)

8

Enrolment data is sourced from data provided by universities to UAC and may not be 100% accurate. Offer data relates to number of offers. A student may receive more than one offer. Offers and enrolments to UNSW are taken from UNSW data. All data relates to current Year 12 school leavers.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

2014 in Review 2014 was a vibrant and successful year for ASPIRE. We are proud to showcase our innovative program and look forward to building on its strengths in the future.


2014 in Review

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, NSW Minister for Education, and Dr Ann Jardine at UNSW’s Gala Town and Gown Dinner.


2014 in Review

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE Heroes and Hangouts ASPIRE heroes honoured at Annual Report launch It was a dark and stormy night, but not even the wild wind and lashing rain could dampen the spirits of those who ventured out to attend the gala launch of ASPIRE’s 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports.

Hosted by UNSW’s Chancellor David Gonski and Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer, the event celebrated ASPIRE’s success in transforming the lives of school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It also gave the ASPIRE team an opportunity to thank the schools and community partners who have participated in the program and ensured its success. Guests heard a number of inspiring and moving speeches highlighting the positive impact ASPIRE has had over the years. The Principal of James Meehan High School, Gail Taylor, spoke on behalf of ASPIRE’s 27 Sydney partner schools. Belinda Fergusson, the Career Adviser from Dunedoo Central School, also emphasised the impact of ASPIRE on the 30 regional NSW partner schools. UNSW student, Elise Burrows, told guests how her experience of ASPIRE at Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School influenced her in pursuing a university education.

(l-r) Belinda Fergusson, Career Adviser, Dunedoo Central School; Dr Ann Jardine, ASPIRE Director; UNSW’s Chancellor David Gonski; and Gail Taylor, Principal of James Meehan High School, spoke passionately about the importance of supporting the aspirations of all Australian students no matter what their background or personal circumstances.

Chancellor David Gonski honoured the ASPIRE program’s staff, partner schools and students, saying he had spent an evening with “true heroes”. “You inspire us and we absolutely aspire to be here,” the Chancellor said. ASPIRE Director, Dr Ann Jardine, thanked the wider UNSW community for supporting the program, describing higher education as “the great leveller and the great transformer”. With government funding winding down, the event also launched ASPIRE’s increased activity in securing funds to ensure the program continues beyond 2015.


2014 in Review

ASPIRE wins funding boost to Hangout ASPIRE was thrilled to win $250,000 in the Google Impact Challenge. Now thanks to Google, more students from disadvantaged backgrounds will have access to tailored online educational resources.

2014 was another challenging and rewarding year for ASPIRE Operations Manager, Sam Skinner (left), and ASPIRE Director, Dr Ann Jardine.

ASPIRE was one of a select field of 10 finalists in the Google Impact Challenge, an initiative inviting nonprofit organisations to submit their innovative ideas that aim to change the world through technology. ASPIRE’s submission – ASPIRE Hangout – aims to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access to engaging and interactive educational resources online. The Hangout portal hosts video master classes, interactive workshops, online mentoring, tailored career planning tools and games, all targeted at challenging students’ expectations and perceptions about themselves and higher education. The project proposal also featured a Career Pathways Planning app to help guide students through the complexities of applying to and starting university. The whole experience of being part of the Google Impact Challenge was an exciting ride for ASPIRE from start to finish. All staff and supporters were galvanised into action with military precision over an intense twoweek voting period. One of the categories of the Challenge was the People’s Choice Award. All

channels of communication were in overdrive as ASPIRE launched a frenzied campaign to encourage as many people as possible to log on to the Google Impact Challenge website and vote for ASPIRE’s project. Using social media to promote participation saw many enthusiastic followers join ASPIRE by posting photos of themselves with their own aspirations for the future. At the end of two weeks, ASPIRE’s Director, Dr Anne Jardine, stood alongside the other nine finalists to present a one-minute pitch and answer a gruelling three-minute Q&A from a panel of high profile judges. The quality and calibre of the other entries in the Google Impact Challenge was extremely high and the judges commented that their final decision was particularly difficult. While there could only be four winners of the $500,000 grants, Google surprised all by generously awarding $250,000 to the six remaining finalists, including ASPIRE, to help get their project proposals underway. The ASPIRE Hangout resources will add a new dimension to the program and strengthen ASPIRE’s position at the forefront of its field.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014


2014 in Review

Engagement with our students Highlights across 2014:

10,440

instances of student engagement with ASPIRE occurred in 2014. Many students had multiple engagements which included in-school and on-campus activities, and as part of special events

1,937

primary aged students from regional and metro schools took part in in-school workshops

1,765

students from metro and regional schools attended on-campus events. Major events were held for Years 5, 8, 9, and 11

342

students went to Centennial Park for sciencebased subject-specific workshops – 171% increase from 2013

399

in-school workshops were held covering Years 5 to 12 in metro schools and from Kindergarten to Year 12 in regional schools

240

parents and carers took part in on-campus events, workshops, camps and university information sessions – 61% increase from 2013

165

Year 9 regional students attended a day of subject-specific workshops held in Dubbo

138

regional students attended residential programs held in Sydney for Years 8, 10 and 11

57

NSW schools were partnered with ASPIRE in 2014 and took part in one or more parts of the program. Of these, 27 were Sydney metro schools and 30 were regional schools

16

Year 10 students from five schools lived on campus while undertaking their work experience

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014


2014 in Review

In-school workshops 399

in-school workshops held across all schools

6,870

students participated in workshops; up from 6,695 in 2013

3,087

Kindergarten – Year 12 students participated in regional workshops

3,783

Years 5 – 12 students participated in metro workshops

1,937

primary school students participated in workshops across metro and regional NSW

“ASPIRE gives the opportunities that students can never have. It is a wonderful program. Long may it continue!”

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Classroom interaction The ASPIRE in-school workshops include a comprehensive range of age-appropriate activities which build on previous parts of the program as students progress through the stages of the ASPIRE learning framework.

From Kindergarten through to Year 6, games, floor puzzles, stories and art are used to start the students thinking about what they want to be when they grow up and discuss who they might know who went to university.

“It was really helpful to think about what I was going to do when I leave school.�


2014 in Review

In the early to mid high school years, students work together in a range of fun activities designed to help them use skills such as strategic thinking, maths, science, data analysis and research. The activities are then linked to possible degrees and the multiple career opportunities that can flow from those degrees. At every stage, students are encouraged to think more creatively and broadly about their natural strengths and abilities.

In the senior years, the emphasis of the program is less on helping students learn about themselves and more on providing practical information, advice and guidance on university. The workshops help students find out how to navigate the university application process and access scholarships, financial and accommodation assistance.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014


2014 in Review

On-Campus Events ASPIRE hosted 16 days of major events in 2014, bringing 1,765 school students on campus. This is up from 1,355 students in 2013, an increase of 30 per cent. The students range from upper primary school years through to Year 11 and attend events targeted at their appropriate age group. Bringing students onto a university campus is critical to raising their awareness about higher education. The range of activities and interactions help make the idea of higher education tangible and meaningful. For primary school students, the focus of XPLORE UNSW! is more general: getting to know the campus, finding out what goes on in a university, and enjoying a range of fun activities that culminates in a formal graduation ceremony. For Years 8 and 9, Uni for a Day and Taster Day follow on from ASPIRE’s in-school workshops. Students are able to sample courses through activities led by faculties, and expand their knowledge of the range of courses and student services available. As

they progress through the ASPIRE program, their visits become more focused, enabling them to make more informed educational choices. They begin to have a better understanding of the links between choosing relevant subjects in their final years of school, their choice of degree and their future careers. For Year 11, Student Shadowing and Step UP provide a select group of students with a more intensive program to build their confidence and develop their academic skills. For all students, the physical size of the campus, the number and diverse population of students and the distance from home (particularly for regional students) can at first be overwhelming. Over time, as they make return visits to campus, their fear diminishes, their self-confidence grows, and many students start setting their sights on pursuing higher education.

Passport to success – bringing young students on campus helps them to discover the benefits of a university education early in life so they can plan their own future educational journey.

“It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of university.”

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40

ASPIRE 2014 inAnnual ReviewReport 2014

On-campus events: }} Provide opportunities for students to experience a university campus }} Raise awareness about the broad range of courses available at university }} Experience the university learning and teaching environment }} Enable interaction with current university students and university life }} Increase student motivation to work towards future possibilities }} Show students that ‘people just like me’ do go to university

Number of Schools XPLORE UNSW! Years 5/6

8 8

Uni for a Day Year 8

29 32

Taster Day Year 9

16 16

Student Shadowing Year 11

18 15

Step UP Year 11

28 22

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

2013

2014

Number of Students XPLORE UNSW! Years 5/6

405 297

Uni for a Day Year 8

411 313

Taster Day Year 9

341 301

Student Shadowing Year 11 Step UP Year 11

81 73 120 107

0

100 2014

200

300

400

2013

“It was amazing seeing different views in regards to uni and all of the opportunities available for us in the future.”

500


2014 in Review

XPLORE UNSW! On-campus Events Years 5/6

Through the hands-on and fun activities, students discover the role university education plays in answering life’s big questions such as what happens when liquid nitrogen meets cream, sugar and vanilla flavouring?

Future scientists enjoy testing the results of a very successful science experiment – ice cream!

“I had an amazing time today. I would definitely come to this university in the future.”

Having fast-tracked their studies, the students’ degrees are conferred at a formal graduation ceremony. Clutching hand-made mortarboards, students head home with a greater understanding of what higher education means.

When building a high-rise structure, are cylindrical or square shaped columns stronger? Budding engineers perform stress-tests on their own constructions to discover the physics behind the answer.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Uni for a Day On-campus Events Year 8

“Today was awesome. I was not thinking about going to uni, but now I am.”

Uni for a Day takes students inside faculties to see the facilities and explore the variety of courses available. Role-play activities provide a snapshot of potential future careers.

Slipping on dark glasses in the UNSW iCinema, students find themselves immersed in a 3D world of cutting edge interactive digital technology.

The iCinema embodies one of ASPIRE’s key messages: with imagination there are no limits. Uni for a Day aims to ignite students’ imaginations about what university could hold for them.


2014 in Review

Taster Day On-campus Events Year 9

Year 9 is an important year where students begin to think about subjects they will choose to study in Year 10 and beyond. Spending time on campus is one of the best ways to find out about the types of degrees those choices could lead to at university.

Sampling some of the many and varied courses, lectures, clubs and activities available shows students that university can cater for every taste.

“I learned that it is not impossible to strive for something that you are passionate for.� Year 9 experienced the social side of university at the lively Taster Day Festival. The physically active were challenged with quidditch, soccer and dance; the mentally agile were tested with giant puzzles and games; and for those wanting to indulge their creative side, origami and craft were offered on colourful beanbags under the trees.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Student Shadowing On-campus Events Year 11

“It was an enriching experience, in which I gained tremendous insight.�

A select group of students nominate their areas of interest and are matched with an ASPIRE Ambassador studying a similar course. For one day they are immersed in university life and become real university students.

The students attend lectures, take notes, join tutorials, grab lunch, explore faculty facilities and check out their first multi-storey library. Their Ambassador is on hand to answer any questions and help them enjoy the friendly buzz of the campus during semester.

The day begins with a photo of their Year 11 self, taken in graduation gown, holding a certificate, with all their future hopes and dreams captured in a moment in time.


2014 in Review

Step UP

On-campus Events Year 11

Their teachers select them to attend the three-day Step UP intensive program. Students work in mixed school groups, attending lectures and participating in workshops on how to set goals and improve study skills.

At the mini UNSW Open Day, representatives from different faculties and student services help students find out about applying for uni, how to pick the right course, where to find scholarships and what financial and accommodation assistance is available.

“No matter what my circumstances, there is always a way for me to succeed.�

One of the most successful outcomes of Step UP is the final presentation of the group projects to a large audience. The students have grown in confidence, gained a belief in their abilities and forged strong bonds with new friends from a diversity of schools.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Regional Round-up ASPIRE’s regional program targets schools in areas of significant disadvantage which may be overlooked by other initiatives. It aims to bring a university education within the reach of students in remote and regional areas of NSW.


Regional Round-up

Regional ASPIRE 2014 features: }} 30 primary, high and central schools }} 3,400+ students from Kindergarten to Year 12 }} 240 workshops presented }} 138 Years 8, 10 and 11 students on UNSW campus for residential programs }} 165 Year 9 students brought together in Dubbo for subject-specific workshops

}} 250+ – the combined total of days the ASPIRE team travelled to visit partner schools and hold events }} 500 interactions with local community members at regional show events }} 30,000+ kilometres clocked up travelling across NSW delivering the regional program

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE’s regional program aims to: }} Raise student awareness about university education

Beyond the Gate Year 8 15

No. of schools

14 72

No. of students

}} Increase motivation to enter higher education

69

0

10

}} Build confidence in students to try new experiences

}} Give students multiple opportunities to experience university learning style and campus life

40

50

60

70

80

2013

Year 9 We’re Doing Fine Year 9 15

No. of schools No. of students

14 159 161

0

50

100

2014

}} Provide information about choosing courses, applications, support and career paths }} Encourage students to look for a future beyond their immediate environment

30

2014

}} Help students discover their academic interests and abilities

}} Break down perceived barriers about pursuing university study

20

150

200

15

20

2013

WOW@UNSW Year 10 5

No. of schools

4 16

No. of students

14

0

5

10

2014

2013

Independence Day (new pilot) Year 12 No. of schools

7

No. of students

60

0

10

2014

20

30

40

50

60


YR

8

Regional Round-up

Beyond the Gate Through the generosity of Google and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service staff, the Year 8 regional students were able to take a behind the scenes look at two very different workplaces and the variety of jobs and career paths they offer.

The week coincided with ASPIRE’s Uni for a Day on-campus event where regional and metro students combined to enjoy a full day of university life.

It was a busy, informative and fun week. Students went home more confident to look beyond their gates and see a world filled with possibilities.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

YR

9

Year 9 We’re Doing Fine “The Indigenous Studies workshop made me realise I am proud to be Aboriginal.”

Dubbo again played host to ASPIRE’s Year 9 We’re Doing Fine event that brings students from our regional partner schools together for subjectspecific workshops and activities.

Students learned how to put on plaster casts, build and race solar cars, make a business pitch and explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and history.

“Y9WDF was an excellent opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the different careers available and meeting experts in their field was fabulous. They were all lovely.” They saw the future in record-breaking solar cars, expressed themselves in art and on stage, observed every-day chemical reactions and tried their hand at a traditional technique to catch emus.


YR

10

Regional Round-up

WOW@UNSW

WOW@UNSW gives regional students workplacement opportunities and experiences they could never access in their local communities.

The program provides their first experience of living away from home and all the responsibilities that come with that: budgeting, planning and preparing meals, meeting new people, living on campus and negotiating public transport. Students also learn about professionalism in the workplace and develop their resume-writing skills. Enjoying what a large university and city have to offer is also part of the experience. Additional activities were organised including attending UNSW’s Open Day, a visit to the Black Markets on Bare Island at La Perouse, a surf safety course at Coogee beach and some indoor exercise at the Skyzone Trampoline Park. Host employers are found based on the student’s nominated areas of interest, which ranged from law to engineering, health, and business. We are extremely grateful to all the employers both external and within UNSW’s faculties and services who welcomed a student into their workplace. Our WOW@UNSW supporters fully embrace the spirit of the program by appreciating the lifechanging difference their involvement can make to the future of regional students.

“WOW@UNSW exceeded my expectations; I have gained knowledge from this experience that I could never get from Binnaway.” “The program was better than I expected. I think that this experience made me want to pursue law even further.”

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

YR

12

Independence Day ASPIRE’s Independence Day pilot workshop was a great success. It aimed to address one of the biggest issues regional students and their families struggle with: the decision to move away from home and community to enter and complete university. The program is designed to better prepare students during the transition period from home to university and assist them in dealing with the shock of being away from their often close support networks. Independence Day helps build their knowledge and skills in a range of areas such as time management, understanding university costs and budgeting, applying for government assistance (Centrelink and HECS) and scholarships, and how to find accommodation and employment while at university.

were able to discuss the natural emotional responses to leaving home and how to find coping strategies and assistance to work through them. The feedback from Independence Day was extremely positive and it is hoped the workshop can continue in 2015 to help prevent more students giving up on their hopes and dreams to study something they want to do.

The group activities included role plays, mock interviews and learning to write professional resumes. In addition, students

Visit from the Country Education Foundation Association The regional ASPIRE team hosted two students from Ungarie Central School and four students from Coonamble High School as part of their visit to Sydney with the Country Education Foundation Association (CEFA).

The visit was a combined tour of Sydney universities, including UNSW, that they would not usually experience. Ungarie students were mentored by ASPIRE Ambassadors for the day and attended lectures on Management of Organisations and Physical Activity and Health.


Regional Round-up

On the show circuit

ASPIRE again hit the road travelling through regional NSW to attend the local shows in the communities of Dunedoo, Coolah and Coonabarabran.

With the distinctive red regional brand, the ASPIRE stall stood out in the crowd as free showbags and balloons were given out, along with information about the program and studying at university. The shows are a great way for the community to touch base with the work ASPIRE does in their local schools. The events also give the ASPIRE Director, Dr Ann Jardine, the chance to talk with locals and visitors to the area about the progam and see first-

hand the issues the community faces, particularly the impact of the prolonged drought. With many families struggling, it is even more important to be seen out and about in ASPIRE’s network of regional schools. By working in regional NSW, ASPIRE aims to provide more students with some hope and aspiration towards their future.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

ASPIRE Ambassadors School students love them, teachers think they are a real asset and great role models, and ASPIRE staff continually admire their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. Our fantastic team of volunteer Ambassadors again excelled themselves in providing invaluable support to ASPIRE.


ASPIRE Ambassadors

“Speaking with the Ambassadors allowed me to get an insight on life after school and coming up with career options.�

55


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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

250

230

200

ASPIRE Ambassadors

150

241

156

152

100

50

Ambassador involvement between 2011 and 2014 2014 2013 2012 2011 0

Active Ambassadors

(volunteering at least once in a year)

Estimated hours

250

5000

230

200

150

241 4374

4000

100

2000

50

1000

0

3212

0

2014 2013 2012

4629

3000

156

152

4267

2014 2013 2012

2011

2011

Trained Ambassadors by Faculty 2014 Estimated hours 5000

4000

4374

4267

Arts & 3000 Social Science 28 2000

1000

0

4629

Built 3212 Environment 2

UNSW Business School 52 2014 2013 2012

Engineering 34

UNSW Art & Design 10

Medicine 10 Law 26

Science 32

2011

Don’t just take our word for it! We are thrilled to know that it is not only those involved in the ASPIRE program who recognise and appreciate the value of the ASPIRE Ambassador team. In 2014, our Ambassadors won the UNSW Volunteer Team of the Year. Nominations were received from across the university, and we were delighted when the judges selected ASPIRE Ambassadors as the winning team.


ASPIRE Ambassadors

ASPIRE Ambassadors donated over 4,370 hours of their time to events and workshops in 2014. The Ambassadors continue to play an integral role in the success of the ASPIRE program While there was a dip in the actual number of active Ambassadors in 2014 compared to 2013, the total number of volunteer hours rose by 2.5%. On average, each Ambassador gave around five hours per instance of engagement. During those interactions, they quickly established an easy rapport and forged strong friendship bonds with the school students. This personal contact creates a positive experience for the school students and helps shift some of their pre-conceived ideas about university. For on-campus events, Ambassadors lead workshops and engage the students with the campus environment, familiarising them with lectures, facilities and student services. Many Ambassadors have gone above and beyond their initial commitment. Activities such as homework clubs, residential events and city experiences have led to Ambassadors being more involved outside a typical university day. We are very fortunate to have such a great team of current UNSW students willing to give wholeheartedly to the program. They are a key source of information for the school students about university. Their ‘warts and all’ views about student life are keenly sought after and no question is off

limits. Studying tips, course information, how to access support and university services, accommodation, workload, surviving exams, and a detailed knowledge of the best campus food are just some of the topics enthusiastically discussed.

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Educational Opportunities In addition to the core program, ASPIRE actively seeks to give students a full range of academic enrichment experiences.

Through the team’s knowledge and expertise as well as from consultation with our schools, ASPIRE tailors additional learning opportunities to individual school requirements or requests. The development of subject-specific activities to assist the academic achievement of students is ongoing. ASPIRE collaborates with UNSW staff and established external organisations to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds access to educational opportunities and resources that are otherwise not available to them.


Educational Opportunities

Koala vaccine research wins ASPIRE vote

The 2014 ASPIRE Award at the UNSW Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Interfaculty Final was won by Andrew Craig from the Faculty of Medicine. His presentation on his research into a life-saving chlamydia vaccine for koalas stood out not only for its content but also its entertaining delivery. It was a unanimous choice by the ASPIRE panel.

The guest VIP judges were made up of 19 Years 10 and 11 students from Birrong Girls, Birrong Boys and Holroyd High Schools. The competition tests the skills of UNSW PhD and Research Masters candidates to condense years of intensive research into a three minute summary in front of a diverse audience. Winners receive prize money and go on to participate in national competitions. The ASPIRE students are always thrilled to be involved in 3MT. It gives them an unexpected dimension to what studying at university means. They can see firsthand the passion, drive and commitment of PhD and Research Masters students as well as the exciting and valuable discoveries that can be made from in-depth research into fascinating areas of study.

3

No. of schools

3 2 19

No. of students

13 12

0

5 2014

10 2013

15 2012

20

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Medical science careers go under the microscope “The visit made me think that medicine is the career for me.”

After a successful one day pilot in 2013, the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia and UNSW’s Museum of Human Disease again opened their doors to senior high school students wanting to know more about careers in medical science.

“Because I actually could see what a lab looks like, I got more inspired about science and how science would help me in the future.” The excursion was expanded into three days of separate visits to offer more students an insight into the world of medical research. Current medical researchers gave a presentation about careers in the field and students were able to tour the labs to watch researchers at work. The itinerary included a fascinating tour of UNSW’s Museum of Human Disease to view some of the health exhibits and take part in a hands-on workshop.

6

No. of schools

1 52

No. of students

6

0

10

2014

20

30

2013

40

50

60

For the second year in a row, the Children’s Cancer Institute also welcomed a regional Year 10 student as part of ASPIRE’s work experience program WOW@UNSW.


Educational Opportunities

Students gain perspective on designing their future ASPIRE piloted a ‘Built Environment Careers Day’ targeted at senior high school students with an interest in the design and construction industries.

Twenty-one students from four ASPIRE schools attended the day which started with a tour of the UNSW Built Environment faculty. Then it was off to look at architecture in the Sydney CBD, including the iconic Sydney Opera House. The highlight of the day was when renowned architectural firm Jackson Teece in Walsh Bay welcomed the students and teachers into their workplace, providing an inside view of real jobs in architecture and design. The students toured the directors’ offices, material libraries and sample boards, before seeing presentations of four different projects staff had previously worked on. The comprehensive program gave both students and teachers an insight into the courses and careers available in the industry and inspired students to pursue their dreams in this area.

“The term Built Environment, through this program, without a doubt raised the awareness and knowledge of not only the students but also the teachers. In particular the graduate student’s presentation on the BE’s degrees and pathways to various careers.” “The tour was insightful and very enjoyable, the food was amazing and the presentations were very informative.”

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ASPIRE Annual Report 2014

Environmental education starts with a walk in the Park “It opened up my knowledge of the variety of different outdoor jobs that may potentially be suited to my liking.”

ASPIRE’s joint initiative with Centennial Parklands Foundation brings both primary and high school students into close contact with the urban ecosystem of Sydney’s Centennial Park.

While a large colony of fruit bats sleeps in trees nearby, park rangers lead the students through a range of activities that focus on environmental education, sustainability, fieldwork and developing a life-long connection with nature. The students set off holding a map and compass to test their orienteering and geography skills, walking through swamp to observe how species adapt to different environments, collecting water samples to learn how to test its quality and scooping dipping nets into ponds to examine water bugs and other aquatic creatures.

By the end of the day, students discover the wide-ranging degrees in environmental sciences and geography that can lead them into intriguing jobs and careers they never imagined.

24

No. of schools

14 342

No. of students

198

0

50

2014

100

150

2013

200

250

300

350


Educational Opportunities

Professional engagement course for new student teachers

ASPIRE co-instructs a professional engagement course with the School of Education, providing 10-day fieldwork placements with ASPIRE partner schools.

The UNSW students are placed in a variety of settings to provide educational support for the ASPIRE partner schools such as homework clubs, learning support centres and in-classroom support for small group tutoring. The course is a valuable experience for the student teachers to deepen their understanding of the range of schools and learning environments.

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No. of schools

14 11 66

No. of students

73 31

0

10

20

2014

30

40 2013

50

60 2012

70

80

Other educational opportunities ASPIRE provided to students in 2014: }} ASPIRE again supported partner schools in attending the Australian Museum’s Science Festival, with 723 students from nine ASPIRE schools participating in workshops and activities in Sydney and regional NSW. The Festival introduces students to the mysteries and wonders of everyday science, to stimulate their interest in studying science in the future. }} Our Law ASPIRE Ambassadors assisted three Year 12 students to prepare for a mooting competition, a simulation of real-life court proceedings. }} ASPIRE supported 63 Year 9 Geography students to attend an excursion to Minnamurra Forest. }} ASPIRE organised for 11 students studying a Media Studies elective to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival and a tour of the ABC studios. UNSW Media students joined a follow-up workshop with the high school students to go through courses and careers in the media industry.

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Community Engagement Building strong relationships and partnerships across the community is vital to enhancing and supporting student attainment and aspiration. ASPIRE works closely with schools to identify areas where increased engagement with parents and carers can help strengthen the support students need to pursue a university education. Forming alliances and working with community organisations also enriches the program by offering students wide-ranging experiences that showcase the benefits of gaining a degree.


Community Engagement

Parents and Carers 240 parents and carers engaged with ASPIRE For many families within the communities in which ASPIRE works, universities are foreign and strange places. Some parents and carers: }} have little or no knowledge or experience of higher education }} have no family members who have attended a university }} have no exposure to the university environment }} are familiar with university education but do not know how to help their child to get there

}} fear debt, the distance from home, and the delay in earnng a living for their children }} are not aware their child could thrive in a tertiary learning environment To build confidence in families so they will entrust their child’s future in something so unfamiliar takes time and requires a number of coordinated and ongoing

strategies. In 2014, ASPIRE provided a number of opportunities for parents and carers to take steps in overcoming their concerns, access information and get to know university themselves. Details of ASPIRE’s work with Indigenous parents and carers can be found in the Indigenous Outreach section of this report.

“I see so many opportunities and know what exactly my daughter really needs to study and really learned a lot. It’s very helpful.”

UNSW Open Day

Computer Classes

13 parents and carers | 133 students

Granville South Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School

ASPIRE sent out invitations in three languages to 10 Sydney partner schools inviting parents and carers to attend UNSW’s Open Day. An excited group of 13 family members took up the offer to join 133 students and experience a university campus for the first time. ASPIRE staff and Ambassadors were on hand to answer any questions and to assist the group in navigating the talks, seminars and stalls. The day was a great success, with one parent commenting she had discovered more about what her “daughter is really passionate about”.

10 parents and carers | 12 weekly sessions To help parents and carers gain new skills, ASPIRE partnered with TAFE South West Sydney Outreach to provide computer classes. The initiative created a bubbling community hub at the school as the ‘new’ students attended their sessions. The project also helped raise awareness of possible pathways into TAFE and university for themselves and their children. At the end of the course, 10 new graduates emerged wearing their handmade mortarboards and proudly holding a formal certificate of completion. For some, it was the first certificate they had ever received.

“It opened up my mind to many opportunities and avenues.”

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Pasifika Engagement 186 students involving three schools Strong partnerships have been built with partner schools that have significant numbers of students from Pasifika backgrounds. Some of the initiatives undertaken to work closely with the schools are outlined here.

“Follow your dreams, try your best, you can do more than one thing in life.”

Support a Sister Bankstown Girls High School Years 8-12 | 35 students

ASPIRE launched the Support a Sister (SAS) program for Pasifika students at Bankstown Girls High School. SAS is a unique program. It was developed in consultation with the students and staff and designed to encourage supportive mentoring relationships between senior (‘older sisters’) and junior (‘younger sisters’) Pasifika students. The SAS program included peer support, mentoring and confidence building/goal setting programs with distinctive cultural features. Older sisters were required to put in an application form to be part of SAS, and attend a day of training. Key issues identified for the Pasifika students at school were: settling into high school, understanding how to deal with friendship issues, the need to build confidence in order to set and reach goals, as well as the need to increase engagement in class (and education more broadly). Older sisters were given the opportunities to work on their leadership, team work and organisation skills by running weekly activities with small groups of younger sisters.


Community Engagement

Pasifika Leadership Council James Meehan High School Years 7-9 | 18 students James Meehan High School approached ASPIRE to support 18 students in Years 7-9 from their Pasifika Leadership Council (PLC) to attend the Eels Educate program.

The program is facilitated by the Parramatta Eels rugby league club and helps students overcome barriers to school engagement by teaching life skills such as teamwork, respect and fair play. It also covers the importance of acceptance and tolerance in a culturally diverse community. The program ran for four weeks. ASPIRE was happy to be involved and tap into the expertise of the Eels Educate program to give students the opportunity to broaden their experiences.

Leadership workshops Chester Hill High School Years 9-11 | 62 students ASPIRE developed a series of workshops in consultation with the school to encourage young Pasifika students to further engage with education. Focusing on leadership, motivation and social issues, ASPIRE staff and Pasifika UNSW students guided the students through activities and discussions on goals, hopes and dreams. Two Pasifika sporting identities – an ex New Zealand rugby player and head coach of Granville Rugby Club, and a Samoan netballer – spoke about their pathways through sport and university, while balancing family and community commitments. The students were also offered career and higher education guidance to help achieve their goals.

“Never give up even if someone is putting you down or disagreeing with you.”

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Indigenous Outreach “Basically I didn’t know that much about uni, but now I do.” Forging strong community relationships is an important component of the success of outreach work. Getting to know people, their perspectives and the issues they face helps enrich the program. Thanks to the generous support of Citi Foundation, ASPIRE has been able to expand its involvement with Indigenous communities linked to some of our partner schools. We were also able to trial a number of initiatives in the regional town of Condobolin to help the community connect with what universities have to offer.

“It makes me want to do my work to get an education and get a good job.”

“University is like a big family.”


Indigenous Outreach

Links2Uni Matraville Sports High School Years 8 and 9 | 11 students Even though Matraville Sports High School is just seven kilometres from UNSW, many of the students have never visited the campus. ASPIRE developed the nine week Links2Uni program to bring Indigenous students onto campus and raise their awareness about higher education, encouraging them to think about future educational options. During the program, they met and spent time with current Indigenous students, interacted with university staff, enjoyed cultural activities and visited different support services within the university. The UNSW community enthusiastically embraced the program, organising a range of experiences to showcase the diversity

ASPIRE Homework Centre Condobolin 34 students | 190 attendances 68% of students attending identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Homework has taken on a whole new meaning for students at Condobolin High School with the opening of a new homework centre in town.

of courses available. Riding segways (twowheeled, battery-powered scooters), building hurricane-proof structures, programming robots, examining racism in the media, participating in a moot court, suturing a pig’s trotter, performing a musical piece with cowbells and finally graduating gave the students a new perspective on higher education.

The ASPIRE Homework Centre is a joint initiative of ASPIRE and Western Plains Regional Development Inc (WPRD) to provide local students with resources and space so they can complete their homework in a supportive environment and improve their study skills. Students are encouraged to make use of the computers, free wi-fi and afternoon snacks to help stay on top of their school workload. The majority of students have sought assistance with their maths homework. To promote the centre to the wider community, a free barbeque was held to formally open the centre in May. Around 70 people attended and enjoyed the sausage sizzle and craft activities.

Dale Gallagher, a teacher from Condoblin High School, has been appointed the Homework Centre Co-ordinator to assist with homework assignments and exam preparation.

“The community barbeque gave us a great opportunity to explain to everyone about the ASPIRE Homework Centre and to ask young people what are their dreams for going to uni or what training they were interested in as they got older.” – Heather Blackley, Youth Services Manager, WPRD

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Changing city views women were caring for their own children, as well as grandchildren, nieces and nephews and were sometimes caring for children outside their family. The parents and carers had students in their care ranging from Year 1 to Year 10. The visit grew from lengthy discussions with an informal ‘taskforce’ made up of members from Western Plains Regional Development Inc (WPRD), Central West Family Support (CWFS), ASPIRE and local parents wanting to find ways to improve the educational outcomes of young people in the area. The caregivers all had a number of common concerns about encouraging their children to pursue a university education. The main ones were that: }} the distance from home was too great }} it was too dangerous to live in a big city }} they had little or no information about university }} there is a lack of support at university, particularly for Aboriginal students

If laughter could be bottled and sold, then the group of parents and carers from the communities of Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo who visited Sydney and UNSW in November would be instant millionaires.

From the moment they accepted ASPIRE’s invitation to come and see a city university for themselves to when they returned home a week later, it was the laughter that made the group stand out wherever they went. Not even travelling by coach and train for over eight hours to get to Sydney could weary their smiles. The majority of the group either identified as Aboriginal, had children who identified as Aboriginal or worked with the Aboriginal community. Many of the


Indigenous Outreach

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In their own words “It’s really a good place to become what you want in life, it’s an eye opener for me as being my first time to visit any uni.” “I’m going home and I’m really telling my grandkids and other kids stay at school and get a scholarship and come to uni. Because what’s in my head I’ll take home and because I’m really pleased of what I’ve learnt.”

By helping to alleviate those fears firsthand with a positive experience and more information, the taskforce hoped one of the outcomes would be that the group would return more confident and optimistic about supporting their children’s aspirations. This in turn would have a ripple effect throughout their communities and help start more conversations about encouraging young people to stay motivated at school and pursue educational opportunities. On arriving in Sydney, the group had a very busy schedule ahead of them. ASPIRE was again fortunate to have four amazing Ambassadors who joined the women throughout the week, and quickly became honorary family members. The UNSW Business School and the Faculties of Engineering, Art and Design, and Medicine,

Shalom College student residence and Nura Gili all hosted the group during their campus visit. The women commented on the warmth in which the university community embraced them and made them feel welcome. The trip also included visits to Sydney TAFE Eora College, the Australasian College Broadway and cultural tours around La Perouse and ‘The Block’ in Redfern. The response to the visit by the women was overwhelmingly positive. They felt they would go home and encourage their children and grandchildren to think about university as a possibility for their future, especially after discovering the support available for students. Others felt confident to share the knowledge they gained through their experience and were motivated to seek further education for themselves.

“Go, it’s brilliant! It’s the best experience a kid could have, it really is, especially coming out of Lake Cargelligo or Condobolin. It’s like a lot of our kids at Lake walk around with blinkers on, they only see Lake Cargelligo. Like the two young girls I’ve brought, they’ve taken the blinkers off this week and they’ve had a great time.” “It was awesome and that all kids should stay at school and go right through until Year 12 and then come and visit this place because it’s amazing. You know, my daughter is only in Year 7 but she is going, she’s going all the way through! What the ASPIRE team is doing is amazing for the young kids, you know, it is.”


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A new perspective Ayesha Nazir

ASPIRE Ambassador Spending time with the parents from Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo was an eye opening experience. It challenged and broke down a lot of assumptions and ideas I had in mind before meeting the parents. The parents were so humble and warm which played a big role in my personal development and highlighted the importance of engaging with rural communities. After this experience, I have become aware of the impact of programs raising awareness about the support services (such as ASPIRE) and the positivity we can spread by working with one another. Parent week was a great opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture and the appreciation we received from the parents was surreal.

ASPIRE Ambassador Ayesha Nazir receives a bear hug of thanks from Aunty Beryl Powell from Condobolin

Joshua Tang

ASPIRE Ambassador

What was the highlight of the week? I think my biggest highlight was when many of the parents and carers came to the realisation that university life and higher education was a viable option for their children and families. To see them realise that UNSW and other higher educational facilities are actually there to support students was a really moving experience. Also, having my team win in building straw towers was validating as an engineering graduate!

that one of the barriers is that there’s a perception of danger in large metropolitan cities, and understandably, parents are more inclined to keep their children at home where they can protect them rather than let them go to a potentially dangerous city like Sydney.

How did being involved impact on you personally?

and rural life. I was honoured to be able to show the parents and carers around Sydney and more so to hear their stories. It was amazing to be so whole-heartedly welcomed by a group of women who were essentially strangers at the start of the event. It was inspiring to see these women go to such great lengths to try to give their children and in some cases grandchildren a better future.

Being a person raised solely in the city it was eye opening to see the differences between city

What did you learn? I think one of the things that caught me out was the perception of Sydney. Having lived here my whole life I always thought of it as just another city with its own problems but no different to anywhere else. However, I learned quickly that the outside perception of Sydney is darker. I didn’t realise

ASPIRE Ambassador Joshua Tang was inspired by the women’s vision for their children’s future


Indigenous Outreach

School holiday program ASPIRE Homework Centre, Condobolin Young people (ages 2–16 years): 40 Parents and family: 15 ASPIRE’s community program held in the September school holidays in Condobolin was a great success. Photo credit: Lara Pearce from The Condobolin Argus

At the request of Western Plains Regional Development Inc and Central West Family Support, ASPIRE designed an activity program to engage families that also complemented community sporting events being held during the week. ASPIRE activities were held alongside a sports carnival and barbeque at the Family Support Centre. UNSW Art and Design student, Caoife Power, ran an art activity with a sporting theme. Children designed their own medal depicting who they are now and what they aspire to be in the future. The activity was a huge hit. Many children, with their parents and grandparents, came back to make two or three medals! ASPIRE staff also assisted parents and carers to create a “My Life Story” board. ASPIRE provided the technology for the parents to use, taking photos of their families and life in Condobolin. The photos were printed and framed onto their storyboard.

“I think ASPIRE is pretty cool because it gives children opportunities to learn what uni is about and learn new stuff. It would be pretty cool to have more stuff out here for the kids that want to go to university.” Amelia, Condobolin Public School

Indigenous Cultural Events ASPIRE participates annually in NAIDOC Week and the Yabun Festival. Both events showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, art, music and achievements. The events are informal opportunities for ASPIRE to strengthen connections with the Indigenous community.

During the water sports day held at Gum Bend Lake, ASPIRE provided games and drawings for the children under 10 years of age. The day gave ASPIRE an opportunity to interact informally with the community and get to know some of the parents and carers who were invited to visit Sydney and UNSW in November for a trip hosted by ASPIRE.

Nura Gili Winter School Applications 49 students | 9 schools ASPIRE provided support to Indigenous students in both the metro and regional programs who were thinking of applying to UNSW’s Nura Gili Winter School. Winter School is a program specifically for Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 who are considering further studies beyond high school. Fifteen ASPIRE school students made applications, with six students successful in gaining entry. While this is half the number of students from 2013, positions in Winter School have decreased by half, making the process more competitive.

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Future Directions 2015 promises to be another big year for the ASPIRE program as we continue to engage with our partner schools and the wider community.


Future Directions

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Expanding academic enrichment and online engagement In response to feedback and a review of current research, we plan to expand academic enrichment opportunities for our students. As part of that we will be developing online engagement opportunities for both regional and metropolitan students. We will also be launching a new interactive webbased program for students called PAThS for Learning, promoting attainment and thinking skills. This website will focus on developing skills in resourcefulness, resilience and reflective practice. These ‘three Rs’ have been identified as important building blocks to help students sustain their academic ability throughout their school years and beyond. Across 2014 we have worked closely with two of our regional partner schools, Tullibigeal and Binnaway, in the development stage of the project. We are very appreciative of their help and the support of the wider community.

We have received welcome assistance from UNSW across 2014, including the UNSW Foundation and UNSW senior management. We have also greatly appreciated the support we continue to receive from our Chancellor Mr David Gonski AC. It was thrilling to learn that the proceeds of his new book “I Gave a Gonski: Selected Speeches” will be donated to ASPIRE. We are honoured that Chancellor Gonski has singled out our work to reinforce the message that supporting equity in education is important to the whole community.

We are also looking forward to continuing to work closer with UNSW’s major widening access program U@UNSW. This successful program helps build academic skills, and supports entry into UNSW for students from ASPIRE partner schools and other schools in Sydney who may suffer educational disadvantage. At the time of writing, the future and extent of the ASPIRE program from 2016 onwards remains unclear as we continue to try and secure ongoing funding post 2015. Programs such as ASPIRE that seek to bring about intergenerational change need to be, by their very nature, longitudinal and sustained. We have been fortunate in the past in winning competitive funding from the Federal Government however this major source of funding ceases at the end of 2014. Some ongoing government funding for outreach under the Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) will continue. It is clear though that this in isolation will not support the cost of the current program.

We remain hopeful that others in the wider community – be they individuals, government or corporations – will come on board to help ASPIRE continue its work. There are many long term gains to be had by the whole of Australian society if programs like ASPIRE are able to keep going. It only takes a young person’s educational path to shift by one degree for all of us to reap the benefits. Dr Ann Jardine Director ASPIRE


Future Directions

“ASPIRE has helped me understand that it doesn’t matter what you want to do or what religion, race, colour, sex or how smart you are, you can do it. If you just put in the effort, you can do it. As long as you are physically and mentally determined, you can do whatever you put your mind to. I would just like to thank ASPIRE for this great opportunity and awesome experience.”

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Aspire 2014 annual report online  

Welcome to ASPIRE's 2014 Annual Report. ASPIRE is an outreach program that works with students from disadvantaged backgrounds to increase t...

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