HUGE day to kickstart the History Mentoring Program for 2019

Last Friday the social inclusion program welcomed a record number of year 11 students from Western Sydney high schools to the university campus for the year 11 mentoring program. Approx 50 students and 25 volunteers. This was the introductory session for the 2019 program. It started off with a volunteer induction session and then the acknowledgement of Country. The running of the day was greatly aided by the work of our two volunteer leaders, undergraduate students Jakson and Lachlan. They managed the volunteers in two groups; one group paired with Miller high students and one group paired with Granville Boys High School students.
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The morning acted as a get to know you session. The school students got to learn a bit about their university mentor and vice versa (though it was definitely the school students who had the more interesting stories, with a high percentage of the students telling stories of unconventional migration to Australia and learning English only in the recent years!). Following, the mentors led a campus tour and showed the students various attractions that interested their particular group. The graffiti tunnel proved to be a big hit, a long with any cafe at which one could purchase a hot chocolate.
Lunch occurred upon returning, and an exploration of some of the older rooms in the quad building. Many of the boys didn’t eat, as there is a large Muslim proportion at Granville Boys and we are currently in Ramadan. Instead, they went and took part in the mid-day prayer that occurs every day on campus in the prayer room inside the Old Teacher’s College.
In the afternoon, the students knuckled down and spoke with their mentors about the specifics of their research topic and how they would go about starting the project.
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We closed with an address by Mike Mcdonnell about the merits of university and the opportunities which blossom through higher education.
By the time the students had to return to school, their minds had been crammed with a lot more than advice about their research project.
The next mentoring session with this group will take place in around a month.

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