Each year during NAIDOC week UNSW Art & Design works with the University’s Indigenous Centre Nura Gili to run our Winter School program.
Designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are currently in Years 10, 11 and 12, UNSW’s renowned Winter School program has been running since 2002 and has provided more than 1000 Indigenous Australian high school students with opportunities to experience university. 
Throughout the week-long residential program, participants will be introduced to tertiary studies in the discipline area of their choice, while also experiencing university life with the other 99 Indigenous students. Participating high school students are guided by staff who are committed to nurturing their leadership, growth and development with a comprehensive, fun and engaging program of activities.
Participants are mentored by current Indigenous students at UNSW, along with graduates, academics and experts from industry, as well as having the opportunity to meet staff from the university who can help them identify their areas of interest, clarify their subject choices and provide further information on gaining entry into their degree. The whole program is at no cost to the student.
This year nine high school students from across the country are visiting and spending time immersed in UNSW Art & Design by participating in three days of intensive workshops. On day one, students work with Lecturer and leading artist Ramesh Nithiyendren on a sculpture and painting workshop. During day two Lecturer and industry expert Steve Weymouth leads a studio on animation and on the third day of the program the participants work with Lecturer and renowned maker Bic Tieu in UNSW’s jewellery studio.
Over the years Winter School has proved to be the most successful pathway for Indigenous high school students in accessing university and understanding university life. Approximately 33% of UNSW’s overall Indigenous enrolments are a direct result of students participating in the Winter School program.
This annual event on Paddington Campus is organised by UNSW Art & Design’s Director of Indigenous programs Tess Allas. In 2018, Tess would like to acknowledge and thank Ramesh, Steve, Bic, Alex, Jim, Luke, Marie, Ross, Emily, Karam as well as Kieran and Leila from Arc plus the student volunteers Karla Jeffrey, Kiana Coe (from Law), Philippa Louey and Marnie Cooper for their involvement.
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