Galuwa graduate Anthony Heinemeyer is pursuing his engineering dreams.
Anthony was born to become an engineer
“I’ve always been fascinated about how machinery works, how steels work and how things hold up,” he says. Crazy about Lego and Meccano – “I’d tell my mum or my grandparents ‘if I can’t build something, I’m going to destroy it!’” he jokes – Anthony would look at real-world structures and try to figure out how they were built.
He grew up in Bourke and received top marks for a TAFE-delivered engineering course during high school. Work experience at several engineering firms helped form his future dreams. “That set me up to want to do civil engineering because it looked fun, and I might be able to support society.”
So when a school careers adviser showed him the UTS Galuwa Engineering and IT Experience, Anthony applied immediately.
No one from my family had completed university. My mother had started, but she never finished – it was too hard distance-wise. I wanted to get a degree so I could step up for my community and say ‘if I can do it, you can do it too.’ I can help show them it’s possible to go to uni, and it’s not as difficult as people make it out to be.
An inspiring week
The Galuwa Experience exceeded his expectations. On-campus robotics activities and Data Arena demonstration were fascinating, but for Anthony the industry-partner site visits were the highlight. By the week’s end, his civil engineering ambitions were set.
“Galuwa helped me understand that this is what I wanted to do. It also taught me there’s different types of engineering. I thought there was just one kind, but there’s so many different types.”
He highly recommends the Galuwa Experience to other Indigenous high school students.
If you don’t do it, you’re missing out. It’s a great program on engineering, but it also focuses on uni life, how students cope with stress, and social events. It gives you a brief understanding of how uni works in general. They also give you contacts for later on.
As it turned out, UTS links were essential after high school. “I didn’t meet the cut to do engineering,” Anthony says – he didn’t meet the university ATAR requirements. After going to the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research for advice, he applied and was accepted into their Direct Entry Program that provides an alternate pathway to UTS studies.
“No other university even bothered to look at me; I never got an offer from anyone else.”
Anthony is now in his first year of a Diploma of Engineering at Insearch; the pathway enables graduates to enter the second year of a UTS Engineering degree. He enjoys the personalised learning experience of small classes and teachers who stay behind to answer questions. “I was also given a tutor for baseline engineering, and he’s been a Godsend.”
Jumbunna continues to support him with 24/7 access to their resources, advice and living expenses.
They are also helping with practical industry experience. Thanks to the 10X10 CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program, Anthony is about to begin an internship at Lendlease on a train or tunnel system project that’s related to his focus on civil engineering.
It’s one of the ways Anthony feels UTS helps prepare students for a career. “From my experience, they really do set you up. They go: ‘if you’re going to enjoy us, then we’ll make it the best experience while you’re here.’”