Last week, UNSW BE hosted seven Indigenous students from across NSW as part of the Nura Gili Winter School. The School is a UNSW wide initiative targeted at Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 who are considering further studies beyond high school. The program gives students a taste of university life as well as an introduction and insight into career opportunities.

Current Built Environment students led activities including site analysis, drawing, virtual model making and building giant structures from large interconnecting foam mats. Thought provoking design exercises encouraged students to challenge their ideas about the built environment.

Students then took their learning out of the classroom with a visit to Prince Alfred Park, Carriageworks, Paddington Reservoir and an underground tour of the John Holland Group construction site at the Sydney Opera House.

Students at Paddington Reservior                                                                          

Underground at the John Holland Group construction site

Patrick Franklyn, a Sydney Landscape Architect offered to tour the students through the city. His technical and historical knowledge combined with industry connections proved invaluable.

According to Patrick, 'The Winter School program connects students to people in industry who are passionate about what they do.'

'If you’re deciding what career path to choose, I think it’s really important to visit well designed projects and meet people who inspire you,' he said.

The Nura Gili students liaised with current industry professional throughout the three days. The students learnt about the redevelopment of Prince Alfred Park with Sue Barnsley Design. TZG Architects opened their doors to give students an idea of what a working studio looks like.

A special thank you to Patrick Franklyn, Kit Ku from the Government Architects Office, Mitch Stevens from John Holland Group, Sue Barnsley from Sue Barnsley Design, Arthur Little from AIME, Jeremy Hughes from TZG Architects, BE student ambassadors, Nura Gili supervisors, staff and everyone who took part in making the week a success.

To find out more about Nura Gili Winter School program visit