Indigenous students tasting the future at CDU 

l-r: Yirrara college students Sammy Abbott, Rodney Braybon, Gus Abbott and Abraham Kitson enjoying their art class hosted by VET art lecturer Henry Smith

The success of an Indigenous program to assist students in the transition from secondary school to tertiary education has received a big boost in student numbers this year.

More than 100 Indigenous secondary school students participated in the annual Taste of Uni program, conducted by the Akaltye Indigenous academic support centre at Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 August. Attendance was up from 55 students last year.

Now in its fifth year, the Taste of Uni program is a regular event on the CDU Indigenous Academic Support Unit’s calendar and is strongly supported by local high schools.

Two new schools were warmly welcomed at the event. Nine students from the Alice Springs based Yipirinya School attended and 15 students from the remote Laramba School travelled a 400 kilometre round trip to attend the Indigenous Taste of Uni program.

Students from years 8 to 12 attended a variety of hands-on activity and information sessions held over the two days and learned about educational pathways and courses on offer at CDU.

They explored studies in horticulture, information technology, nursing, child care, sport and recreation, art, hairdressing, hospitality and gained insights into practical skills required in the workplace.

Students had an opportunity to tour the campus and meet the lecturers, as well as receive information about tertiary studies and future career opportunities.

On the second day, senior students and support staff attended a mini-exhibition where they could access information about cadetships, scholarships, apprenticeships and other work training opportunities. The exhibition was organised by Akaltye and staffed by representatives from local service providers and training organisations.

Taste of Uni event coordinator, Lorraine St Clair said she was pleased with the event.

“Many CDU staff were eager to help us and provided the students with a good insight into the courses and resources available at the Alice Springs campus,’ she said.

“The many positive responses from students indicated that the event was highly successful and it was great to see them all enjoying the activities.”