Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Pathways

In 2016, Students were provided with a number of opportunities to apply for and attend national and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and leadership activities.

  • Year 9 Future Directions Day was held at Charles Sturt University, Orange campus. Students attended two workshops to experience different faculty activities (chosen from horticulture, engineering, physiotherapy, education and creative writing). This included interaction with CSU students, which provided a university experience that introduces them to more options available to them in the future.


  • A small group of students: Jett Hart, Kaleb Jawai, Emilie Shields, Hayley Wykes, Ava Moorhead, Jack Clark, Patrick Bennett, Malachi Collins and Tiffany Clancey joined with students from all the local high schools to assist Katrina Hausia, Youth Development Officer, Orange City Council, with the Central West Elders Olympics. They were required to organise, coordinate and demonstrate to the Elders how the activities were to be played during the day.


  • Emily Fawns attended the University of Notre Dame’s School of Medicine Day during the July school holidays. This program was aimed at inspiring rural students toward a career in medicine. The day provided a number of practical experiences, including suturing and incubating, all part of the daily activities of a medical student.


  • Jacob Haley-Morgan was successful in his application for Live It, a 5-day residential university experience for Year 9 boys at the University of Newcastle. This program is designed to inspire students to build upon their potential to succeed in Years 10, 11 and 12 and to expose them to a wide range of study and career options that exist for HSC graduates.


  • Maddison Alexander and Jesse Kennedy Gibbs were selected to be our Junior representatives on the newly formed Orange Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. This group consists of student reps from all the local high schools and was formed to encourage our students to get involved in their education and to provide a leadership opportunity for their school and community.


  • Jesse Kennedy Gibbs and Jett Hart attended ADFA Exercise First Look and had a wonderful time. They got to experience real life in the defence forces including using simulated weaponry, training runs and mess room tucker.


  • Warrant Officer Adam Bissett attended the school to give the first in a series of chats about future Defence Force careers, including Gap year projects, Indigenous Education and Career Pathway training opportunities and professional and trades available in the Defence Force.


  • Skillset provided a career readiness workshop for students in Years 9 to 11, focussing on résumé preparation, interview skills and letter application.


  • Jack Agland began a School-Based Traineeship with St George Bank in Orange. This provides an opportunity to work as part of the school curriculum and be paid for it.


  • Emilie Shields applied for and won a place in the UNSW Indigenous Science & Engineering program being held in December this year. This program is designed to stimulate and peak interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) areas. The application process was highly competitive with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students across Australia competing for one of 35 places! Congratulations Emilie.


  • Brendon Downey has applied to attend the inaugural National Indigenous Youth Rugby Sevens Championships in October 2016. This is a serious venture for the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Trust, who wish to see more Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people playing rugby union. All entrants will have the opportunity to be selected for the National Indigenous Boys & Girls Sevens teams that will compete at Central Coast Youth Sevens Tournament and the ARU National Youth Sevens Championships.

Story contributed by Leanne Fawns from James Sheahan Catholic high School. Published in 2017.