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New school to lift Indigenous university participation

by James Strong arsons Brinckerhoff and the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Oodgeroo Unit are pleased to announce that together they have formed a partnership aimed at increasing Indigenous Australian university participation rates in Queensland via a new program. The new Science and Infrastructure Development (SID) Winter School is a four-day, residential program scheduled to run in July 2013 for selected Indigenous Australian high school students in years 9 and 10 from the Moreton Bay region of Queensland. Speaking in the lead-up to National Reconciliation Week, Parsons Brinckerhoff Regional Director for Queensland Gerard Ryan said the SID Winter School recognises and aims to address two major industry challenges. ‘In general we need to lift participation in science, technology, engineering and maths careers, and we also need to encourage Indigenous Australian students into higher education and ultimately into careers related to these disciplines,’

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Rhiannon Warrie. Image supplied

said Mr Ryan. QUT Oodgeroo Unit Director Professor Lee Hong agreed more needed to be done to ensure higher education for Indigenous Australian students was the norm rather than the exception. ‘The number of Indigenous Australian students at our universities is not proportional to our Indigenous Australian population in Queensland. ‘Through the SID Winter School we aim to show Indigenous

Harry Sabatino. Image supplied

Australian students they can have the same future enjoyed by any other student,’ said Professor Lee Hong. The program will introduce students to the disciplines of biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, and other disciplines which are the starting point for careers in the environmental sciences, information technology, urban development and planning and stakeholder engagement. The selection criteria for the SID Winter School participants include why the student is interested in the disciplines and how the related professions can impact communities. The program also incorporates industry presentations, case studies, site visits and professional networking opportunities to enable students to meet professionals in this industry and see their work first hand. Students attend the SID Winter School at no cost to themselves. Corporate sponsors are currently being sought to help support the SID Winter School from 2014 onwards. Page 1


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Lifting university participation