More than 50 Indigenous Year 10 students from Central Coast high schools have had a taste of university life recently through a program coordinated by Project Officer Rebecca Jacobs and run by the Gibalee Centre.
Insight Days give students an understanding of what the University of Newcastle and the Gibalee Centre offers for Indigenous students in the way of student support and study options.
Students participated in groups to complete projects created by staff from the Faculty of Health, Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty of Science and Information Technology and the Faculty of Education and Arts. At the end of each day the students made a presentation based on the information they had gathered.
"These days give school students a great opportunity to explore the campus, see what it has to offer, find out about Gibalee and our services and discuss their study options in an informal and more personal manner," Gibalee Centre Team Leader Chris George said.
"Feedback from students and teachers has been very positive. Many said that participating in Insight Day has shown them that university isn't a scary place, as they had first thought.
"They see University as a real possibility and many of the students are now considering University study as a post-school option."
Current Indigenous University students acted as Student Mentors/Leaders by assisting students with research for the projects as well as showing them around the campus and answering any questions they had.
Below are some comments from students who participated in the Insight Days:
"I learnt how to research information through computer, internet and book sources. I learnt how to work together as a group and also many things about the topic we researched."
"That you can do whatever you want to do and university will be fun. I learnt how to research and met new people. I learnt it is easy to work in groups.""I learned that you don't have to be rich or super smart for Uni and I now know how to go about things."
"I learnt that there are so many opportunities in Uni and that there are a lot of different classes."
"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to take part in a program like this. It really makes me consider coming to this Uni, actually gets me excited to come to Uni. And it makes me feel like I'll have a lot of support in Uni rather than be under stress etc. Thank you."
When asked if the participant would recommend participating in an Insight Day to fellow students all responses were 'yes'.