The University of Newcastle, Australia

Curious young learners celebrated

Monday, 30 October 2017

More than 500 young school students will attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Newcastle (UON) this week to celebrate the achievement of completing learning activities offered through Children’s University Newcastle, a member of Children's University Australia.

Participants of the Children's University Newcastle program

Supported by UON and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education, the Children’s University Newcastle program encourages children between the ages of seven and 14 to participate in validated activities beyond the school curriculum.

Since its inception last year, the program has tripled in size and expanded its delivery across the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast regions.

Students involved in the program receive a passport where their hours are recorded and stamped by registered organisations, referred to as learning destinations.

Once they have completed 30 hours or more of activities, they are invited to take part in a formal graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

In a program first, five Indigenous students from Waratah West Public School designed an Indigenous stole for all Indigenous students to wear during this year’s ceremonies.

Over several weeks, the students participated in Indigenous art workshops and watched their concept come to life while learning about business, design, visual arts, printing and manufacturing industries.

Children’s University Newcastle Program Coordinator, Selina Darney, said the students were proud to have their art work in a wearable piece of clothing.

“This has been an amazing experience and story for these five children and watching the children participate in this will be something very special on the evening for their families and local communities,” she said.

Three graduation ceremonies will take place throughout this week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the Great Hall, University of Newcastle.

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