Who Do You Think You Are – Exploring Students’ Pacific Island History

On Tuesday, seventeen boys of Pacific Island heritage made their way to the campus from Granville Boys High School. The Social Inclusion program hosted a “Who Do You Think You Are” event, facilitating the boys in exploring their personal cultural histories.
The day involved presentations from a number of experts on different pacific island histories. Jude Philp from the Macleay Museum facilitated the day. Writer Jo Kamira spoke about her Maori history and family treasures with the boys. There was a talk by James Flexner on archaeology, oral traditions and written histories, as well as a talk on the history of migration by Matt Poll.
The boys enjoyed lunch out in the sunshine, and the afternoon comprised of a visit to the Nicholson museum to view the Pacific treasures. Finally, we rounded out the day with the boys interviewing one another to find out about their own histories and their family’s migration to Australia. The boys asked each other questions like “Are their any treasures that have been passed down through your family?” and “When did your family migrate to Australia and why?”. A few students presented their stories to the group, making the boys feel a bit like celebrities.
Alongside getting to share their stories, the boys were exposed to a talk by Edie Griffin about her experience as an undergrad students at the university, and options for affordable housing (STUCCO Student Housing Co-op at Sydney).
Best of all, the students were looking through the undergraduate degree guides and discussing options for their own tertiary education on the train ride home.
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