The National Indigenous Summer School (NISS) started in 2016 to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students the opportunity to experience what ANU has to offer in the science and engineering spaces. In 2018 the program was expanded to include a humanities, arts and social sciences stream.
The NISS program is aimed at broadening the horizons of our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Through this it plays an important role in contributing to the University's goal of increasing the number of Indigenous Australians graduating from ANU.
The Tjabal Centre's Communications and Community Outreach Officer, Sam Provost, is a member of the Organising Committee. On behalf of the Committee, he has provided the following responses.
Q: Congratulations on being nominated a finalist for the 2019 Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards. Can you briefly tell us what this honour means to you and your team?
A: Working with the Indigenous youth in the National Summer School Program every year is the true honour.
Being nominated for the VC's Reconciliation Award is a really nice acknowledgement of the hard work put in by everyone involved in making the National Indigenous Summer School program a success.
Q: Tell us a little about the behind-the-scenes work involved in the project you worked on. What was a challenging aspect of the work?
A: The NISS organising committee spend 7 months each year preparing for the students to come in December. Ensuring that the Summer School is a cohesive and inspiring experience requires collaboration and input from every ANU College and School which is no small task! Fortunately we have a dedicated team that work from the heart to bring this together.
Q: Who would you like to recognise for helping you become a finalist for the 2019 Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards?
A: Our organising committee, the staff at the Tjabal Centre, student mentors, and house parents all work tirelessly to make NISS a great experience. But we would not have anything to celebrate if it wasn't for the amazing young people that come to the ANU eager to learn and engage with us.
Q: What makes your team unique?
A: The NISS team is truly cross-disciplinary and multi-modal. We draw on knowledge and expertise from across the whole university, in every discipline, to give the students a taste of what university can be. Because of this, NISS students have a whole world of possibilities open up to them.
Q: Can you tell us a little about why you are so passionate about what you do?
A: We get the opportunity to inspire the next generation of Indigenous leaders. The NISS program broadens the horizons of these young people and we count ourselves extremely lucky to be able to provide this opportunity.