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‘I wasn’t planning on going to uni, but now I am’

By November 27, 2018February 26th, 2021No Comments

Macquarie University experience trip opens eyes for rural and regional students


In mid-November, CEF and Macquarie University hosted 23 school students from Lightning Ridge in Far West, NSW, as well as Melville High and Camden Haven High from the North Coast of NSW for a University Experience Camp.

The group met professors, explored courses and took part in some fascinating workshops, all with the purpose of discovering campus life first hand. The two-night stay in Sydney opened the students’ eyes to the possibility of a university education and the opportunities that exist in larger centres.

Upon their arrival at the uni, students were welcomed by Macquarie’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Programs and Pathways, Professor Sean Brawley who explained to students that they are more than their ATAR. In fact, there are 11 other pathways of getting into your desired course at Macquarie University and that following your passion is far more important than ‘using’ your marks.

The packed itinerary included a tour of the residential college, Dunmore Lang, where they met fellow rural and regional young people attending university. Students then deciphered quantum physics by making ice cream using liquid nitrogen and became captivated by economies of scale with Prashan in Economics 101. They brushed up on swim safety in the SwimSafe Warriors Program and visited the Australian Hearing Hub, which houses an anechoic chamber. The chamber is a specially designed echo chamber used for collaborative research into hearing and language loss.

While off campus, students broadened their talents at the Macquarie Ice Rink and enjoyed downtime hanging out at the pool. CEF’s Partnerships and Committee Liaison, Juliet Petersen, who chaperoned the trip, said she was amazed by how these students became fast friends and took opportunities in their stride.

For one student from Kempsey this trip, organised by CEF and funded generously by Macquarie University, changed his post-school ambitions. “Originally, I wasn’t planning to go to university but after this great experience I have decided to go down the path of engineering,” Jesse shared.

“This trip was absolutely amazing and I would like to thank everyone for putting it together!”

This university experience trip is one of three CEF has co-hosted this year and Juliet said all three trips have been a worthwhile and eye-opening experience for the young rural and regional students, their schools and teachers and CEF as a whole.

A thank you must go to Macquarie University for hosting CEF and the young students from regional NSW.


USG 2018 – Living Eating Adulting

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