Young Indigenous students from across Australia are this week immersing themselves in the world of engineering in an interactive camp in Adelaide, as part of a partnership between Santos and the University of Adelaide.
Twenty-nine students are attending the Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School from Perth, Numbulwar, Alice Springs, Darwin, Gladstone, Melbourne, Mackay, Cairns, Roxby Downs, Ceduna, Rockhampton and metropolitan and regional Adelaide.
Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said Santos is passionate about helping to build a better future for young Indigenous people through educational opportunities.
“After an extremely successful launch in 2018, we’ve committed to support the Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School for another three years,” he said.
“It’s about creating an opportunity to see what’s possible, planting a seed of curiosity in how things work, especially in the crucial energy sector.
“We have 29 Indigenous students from all over Australia coming to Adelaide this week to learn about all the fantastic opportunities that studying engineering will open up for them.
“I’m also delighted that half of the students are female, building confidence in women and girls that a rewarding career in engineering is for them.
"Hopefully some of these bright young students will one day work at Santos."
The word Karnkanthi means “lifting up” in the Kaurna language. The event – being held during NAIDOC Week – promotes the benefits of a career in engineering to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 11 and 12.
The students will visit the University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences where they will participate in sessions on renewable energy and race car engineering. On Tuesday they will visit Adelaide Oval to learn about structural engineering and also undertake the stadium’s roof climb experience.
“This is the second year of the Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School and I’m so excited to see how the program, and the students who participate, continue to grow,” said Professor Shane Hearn, Dean of Indigenous Research & Education at the University of Adelaide.
“We already know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have the necessary aspiration to do well at University – what they need is exposure. The Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School is about demystifying the university experience and reinforcing to the students that they do belong here.
“This unique experience will allow the students to explore the varied world of engineering, identify their passion, and take the next steps towards making it a reality.”
Rebecca Haynes is returning after attending last year’s camp as she is seriously considering a career in the engineering industry, particularly environmental engineering or architectural and structural engineering. Ms Haynes, (18) from Ceduna, is approaching her final months of year 12.
“The camp provides the opportunity to see what a career in engineering is like from engineers, which is invaluable as it allows us to hear about what these people studied, what they do day-to-day and the pathway that they have gone through to get to where they are today,” said Ms Haynes.
“This camp gives me the confidence and reassurance that as long as you have determination and commitment in the field, there are no real limitations and the things that you can achieve are infinite.”
The Santos Karnkanthi Indigenous Engineering School runs until Friday, 12 July.