Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ANU School proves to be inspiring

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

HIGH school student Izayah Davies says he has been inspired to follow his dreams to study medicine after meeting Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt at a summer school for Indigenous students at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

Izayah, a young Bardi Kija man from Broome in Western Australia, was one of 19 Indigenous students across Australia selected by their school principals to attend the program, which focused on science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Students combined classroom lessons with field trips to Questacon and the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory, where Prof Schmidt, who is also the ANU vice-chancellor, introduced the students to astronomy and astrophysics.

"I met Brian Schmidt - 'The Man'," Izayah said.

"I've read about him in text books at school. He's the man who figured out the universe's expansion rate and I always thought 'Oh I'm never going to meet him - he's some Nobel Prize winner'.

"But I met him and got a photo with him. So that's one off the bucket list. It was really amazing to meet him."

Izayah said he loved visiting ANU.

"It's been fantastic, I've never been on a university campus before and I really like it here," he said.

"It's a really nice environment to study in. There's a lot of pressure in high schools, but here it's so much more relaxed."

Izayah has chosen Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths Applications, English Literature and Modern History for his final year subjects at high school. He wants to study to become a general practitioner and work in the community where he grew up.

"I think it's very important to have Indigenous doctors working in remote communities so we can help our mob up there and make sure everyone's happy and healthy," he said.

Anne Martin, the director of the Tjbal Higher Education Centre at ANU, said the week-long program aimed to encourage, influence and inspire young Indigenous students to think about their careers.

"The ANU really has a national responsibility to these students and we don't want them to be struggling when they get midway through Year 11 or 12 with their career path," she said.

"If these 19 students have a wonderful experience here, then they'll go back and talk about it in their communities and that will hopefully spark the interest in other people too."

Students Seth Seden, Izayah Davis and Max Chesini gets hand on at the ANU summer school. Picture: Stuart Hay, ANU.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way.

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