Igniting business and law ambitions
The University of Technology Sydney’s Galuwa program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has widened this year to include a partnership between UTS Business School and UTS Law.
Galuwa means ‘to climb’ in Gadigal language, and the new Business and Law program, which took place from 23-27 September, inspired Indigenous students in years 9-12 to consider a career in business or law.
The program saw more than 20 Indigenous high school students travel from as far as Darwin, to attend the residential program and experience university life first-hand.
“University sometimes seems like a big deal, but this program demystifies campus life so when they do come to study, it doesn’t seem so daunting,” says Tom Evans, Manager of Indigenous Programs at UTS Business School.
Galuwa participant Brieanna Veness, 15, from Lithgow, said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she finished school, but now she was interested in going to university.
“It’s changed my mindset, because I thought I wouldn’t have the skills to do this, but now I would definitely like to go,” she said.
The week featured interactive workshops, cultural activities and information about career paths, as well as site visits with industry participants including Gilbert & Tobin and PetSure, and a graduation dinner hosted by PwC.
“It’s been a pretty busy, interesting and tiring week,” said 16-year-old Darwin student Narisha Dincent.
“We’ve been doing business and law workshops, learning about marketing and event planning, and different areas of law. We also went on a boat cruise where we learnt about the cultural history behind Sydney – that was my favourite part,” she said.
The week culminated in the Galuwa students using their newfound management and marketing skills to host a BBQ fundraising activity to support UTS social enterprise Ruff Sleepers, which raised $1600.
“With law and business you are learning about issues in the real world,” says Year 10 Canberra student Joel Gould. He said working on the BBQ fundraiser helped bring that to life.
“For people who are homeless, they would rather be out on the streets with their dog, than be in a house but lose their dog. Ruff Sleepers helps keep the dogs clean and healthy – often they are a homeless person’s only friend,” he said.
The UTS Jumbunna Institute has run the Galuwa Experience for a number of years in Health, Science, Engineering and IT, and also offers a program specifically for students from the Northern Territory.
UTS Law’s Director of Students, Francis Johns says the faculty is in the process of embedding Indigenous study across all subjects so that Indigenous students can relate to every aspect of the degree.
“The Galuwa program helps participants feel welcome at university and encourages them to aspire to the legal profession. They’ve met role models in current Indigenous law students and hopefully they’ll be inspired to see their future selves as students here at UTS in the future.”
The UTS 2027 Strategy aims to boost Indigenous education and employment outcomes and improve student success and retention, assisted by the implementation of Australia’s first Indigenous Residential College.
UTS Business School offers Australia’s only business degree designed specifically for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander professionals, the Bachelor of Business Administration, aimed at those already in the workforce.