E-news Issue 7
Wednesday, 08 September 2021
Charles Darwin University
More than 30 Indigenous students participated in the pilot Bidjipidji Aboriginal School Camp last month.
More than 30 Indigenous students participated in the pilot Bidjipidji Aboriginal School Camp last month.

Pilot Bidjipidji Aboriginal School Camp encourages university pathways

The inaugural Bidjipidji Aboriginal School Camp saw 35 Indigenous students from Darwin and remote communities experience university life at Charles Darwin University (CDU) recently.

The Bidjipidji School Camp Program is a fully supervised, four-night residential program designed to provide Indigenous students in years 10, 11 and 12 with an opportunity to experience university life for themselves.

The program, ran from 28 August to 1 September, and featured lectures, workshops and hands-on activities from various disciplines for the school students and is designed to promote and encourage positive post school pathways into further education.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach Prof Reuben Bolt said the Bidjipidji program helped students consider further education pathways when they finish school.

“The camp has been really successful this year, with 35 Indigenous students participating and we’re looking to make it bigger and better next year,” Prof Bolt said.

“The students were able to get a sense of what is available at university and to gain a better understanding of the types of courses they can study, and hopefully in the years to come they will come back to study with us.

“We’re starting to change the narrative so that attending University becomes a realistic option for Indigenous students in the future.”

Highlights of the program included nursing lab demonstrations, moot court, creative art workshop, business sessions and a lecture about identity delivered by Professor Bolt.

The students also visited the CDU Open Day on 29 August and got to know the variety of Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education Courses available at CDU.

Bidjipidji will be an ongoing program for Indigenous students in Year 10-12 in the Northern Territory to participate in for free, with full supervision and accommodation provided.