Open dialogue and diversity spark innovative and collaborative ideas in learning, teaching and student support services. It is therefore important to support opportunities for the inclusive participation of all students, to enable harmonious and respectful diversity in our university community.

The LEAP – Partnership Engagement Grant Scheme (PEGS) initiative aims to encourage collaborative partnerships across the University, as well as with external partners, to actively encourage the inclusiveness of disadvantaged equity students. The scheme was launched early this year by the Widening Participation Unit. Applicants were invited to submit a 1 page expression of interest followed by a 3 minute presentation.

Professor Sean Brawley, Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs and Pathways) chaired the selection panel. The selection committee included Kate Stevens (Policy & Projects Manager, Digital Programs at The Smith Family), A/Prof Joanne Jamie (Deputy Head, Department of Molecular Sciences, Rifaie Tammas (Student), Sonal Singh (Widening Participation Planning Manager) and Bonnie Faulkner (Widening Participation Pathways Manager).

The following projects were successful in receiving funding under LEAP-PEGS :

  1. Academic for Refugees Mentoring Program – Linking students from a refugee background with an academic in their home faculty with the goal of providing support to master the complexities of university life and develop the tacit knowledge required to succeed at their studies (A/Prof Amanda Wise, A/Prof Anina Rich and Phillipa Bellemore).
  2. Bawurra Foundation – A digital library of content and information showcasing indigenous role models, history and culture. The engaging, culturally significant resources are shared with priority schools across NSW to help promote literacy and cultural identity (Alexander Stonyer-Dubinovsky).
  3. Global Leadership Program (GLP) – This project supports students from a low SES background access experiential component of Macquarie’s Global Leadership Program (Caroline Reid, GLP).
  4. Holroyd High School – Student engagement initiatives targeting newly arrived refugee students and low SES students.
  5. Orientation Programs – Introduction of a dedicated fixed term role to the Orientation Programs Team that will assist in scoping and developing orientation and transition support enhancement for low SES students (Cassie Khamis, Orientation Team).
  6. Swim Safe Warriors – To equip participants with the knowledge and skills on how to look out for the dangers and risks in all aquatic environments and to make informed choices to keep themselves, their friends and family safe (Christy Tesoriero, Swim Safe).
  7. Partnerships. Now. Always – Provide opportunities for students from low-SES and other equity backgrounds to actively participate in shaping, developing, delivering, evaluating, and championing education for the prevention of sexual violence across the Macquarie community (Xuan Luu, Student Diversity and Inclusion).
  8. Yugul Mangi Campus Education Hub – In partnership with the Ngakurr Community, Macquarie University will scope the feasibility and necessities of establishing a remote study campus, Yugul Mangi. The campus would create an opportunity for two-way university learning on-Country that facilitates and builds aspirations and outreach to Aboriginal peoples in a remote low socio-economic community with a long history of minimal accessibility to formal further education (Walanga Muru and MUIC).
  9. Robert Menzies College Short Stay Program – Scoping study of short-term-stay program that gives at risk students from low SES backgrounds the benefits of on-campus living.
  10. FBE PACE Internships – This project will provide paid PACE internship opportunities for 6 (or more) FBE students from low SES backgrounds, including a travel allowance for each student (Jen McPherson, PACE, FBE).

Congratulations to these grant recipients. We look forward to following their progress and we will post further updates in due course

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Posted by Sonal Singh

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