The Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, has visited UNSW's special school vacation programs, run by the Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC).

Addressing an audience of parents, Ms Bishop spoke of the value of GERRIC's workshops for parents of gifted children, which were held around the country over the past two years.

She singled out a farmer from Roma who had travelled three hours each way through what he called "roo-infested country" to attend the workshop, but who had said that it was "worth the bloody drive."

Ms Bishop recently announced that $600,000 would be allocated to fund 40 10-day residential courses for teachers - including courses in gifted education.

An additional $600,000 will fund 50 new workshops for parents of gifted and talented children in regional, rural and low socio-economic metropolitan areas.

The Minister observed the students in three of the classes held as part of the Scientia Challenge. The students, from Years 7 to 10, were taught by UNSW academics from a range of disciplines during the two-day workshop which was held in their school holidays.

Amongst the guests during Ms Bishop's visit were the President of the Academic Board, Professor Tony Dooley, and former Senator John Tierney, a member of GERRIC's Advisory Committee, who established the Senate Inquiry into gifted education in 2001.

Earlier, 15-year-old Jordan Hoban, from Nambucca Heads High School, was awarded the inaugural Lauren Kipic memorial scholarship. Lauren was the GERRIC's gifted students' program support officer from 2005-6. She died tragically in a fire in backpackers' accommodation in Chile in February this year.