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This University of Western Sydney (UWS) program aims to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to pursue careers in medicine or health. It also raises awareness among these children and their families about healthy lifestyles.
Participating children enrol in the program at the age of eight or nine, and visit UWS each year until they graduate from primary school. During these visits, they spend time with Indigenous UWS medical and health science students who act as guides and role models.
Children also participate in activities that give them a taste of health careers and promote healthy lifestyles. Examples of past activities include:
The program, which commenced in 2010, had 450 enrolled students from the Campbelltown and Blacktown/Penrith regions by 2012. Heartbeat education resources are currently being developed to link with the NSW school syllabus. The program is assisted by the Australian Government.
Abstract adapted from University of Western Sydney
Ms Anne McLean
Manager, Schools Engagement
University of Western Sydney