Miller Technology High Social Inclusion Program – Essay Writing Celebration

On the 29th of November Mike McDonnell and Clair Sole visited Miller Technology High School to celebrate the work the Year 11s did in their did in their Historical Investigation Projects. Miller Technology High students worked alongside Sydney University student volunteers over five meetings from April-August to complete a written essay. The students also had to prepare a speech and give a presentation in front of their friends, students from Granville Boys High School, and staff and students at the University. The topics ranged from the impact of William Wallace on ideas of Scottish independence to the experiences of Iranian women in the twentieth century.

The Presentation Day involved awarding students for their hard work, and special prizes were given for the best Ancient and Modern essays and presentations. Mike was invited to talk to the students about the benefits of tertiary education and awarded the best essays and presentations for Ancient and Modern History. Rachael-Anne Benson was awarded the best essay and presentation for Ancient History and gave her presentation on the impact of William Wallace on Scottish independence whilst Shaedaa Hadi was awarded the best essay and presentation for Modern History and gave a speech about her experience in the social inclusion program.

The day concluded with a brief speech by principle, Dr Ken Edge, congratulating the students, and a Thai lunch with the students. The Social Inclusion Program looks forward to working with Miller Technology High again in the coming year!

Chifley Senior Campus + University of Sydney Essay Competition

On the 22nd of November, Simon Wyatt-Spratt and Mike McDonnell attended the annual Chifley Senior Campus humanities award ceremony.  The day marks the culmination of a year of hard work for the senior Chifley students. Students are receive awards in areas from business studies, to society and culture, and history. Mike and Simon were there to award the students for the essays they wrote as part of the  University of Sydney’s Essay Writing Competition. This competition is held jointly by the University and Chifley Senior Campus and judged by academics from both the modern and ancient disciplines. The University and Chifley College Campus have been working together as part of an equity social inclusion program in order to encourage students to achieve academic excellence and to consider university as an option.

When it was time for the awards, Mike was invited to give a talk to the students, teachers and parents gathered on the merits of tertiary education for people from all walks of life. Following this, the highly commended essays were awarded.  Tahlara Mazzelli was named the winner of the Modern History Essay competition. Tahlara was praised for writing an essay on Winston Churchill’s role in WW2, and the secret war in India. David Ibekaku was named the winner for the Ancient History Essay competition. David explored the value and limitations of Biblical and archaeological sources in an assessment of King David of Israel’s rule. After, commendations for Grace Major’s Personal Interest Project (the Society and Culture major work) and Allen Burias’s History Extension project were awarded. Both projects were of an impeccable standard this year.

Following the ceremony, the students, parents, teachers, and guests were invited to enjoy a pizza lunch together. Discussing the future plans of the freshly graduated ex-students and the year 12 students, we were relieved to find that many of them plan to go to the University of Sydney next year.

The Social Inclusion Program looks forward to working with Chifley Senior Campus again in 2020!