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14 September 2016

Gilmore girl reaches for the sky

A Kwinana girl training to be a pilot is one of 35 young people around Australia selected for a summer science camp for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Gilmore College student Olivia Morton, Year 10, will attend the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) in Newcastle, New South Wales, in January.

David Smith, Gilmore College Follow The Dream coordinator, congratulated Olivia on her achievement and said the camp would be a great opportunity for her to further her learning in science.

“Olivia will learn about cutting-edge science including solar energy, water chemistry and more, and look at the interface between western science and traditional Indigenous knowledge,” Mr Smith said.

Olivia, who is an Australian Air Force Cadet and in training to be a pilot, said she was looking forward to staying in Newcastle, meeting new friends and learning more about technology and renewable energy at the camp.

“I’m currently very busy at school; I’m in the academic extension program, the Follow the Dream program for Aboriginal students aiming for university, and I sit on the student council,” she said.

Currently studying mathematics, English, science, health, physical education, humanities and social science, Olivia will join the school’s hands-on Process Plant Operations course next year.

ASSETS is part of a larger project, funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation and managed by CSIRO, aimed at increasing the participation and achievement of Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The January 2017 ASSETS program – a nine-day summer school – will be presented by the University of Newcastle and CSIRO Energy Centre.

As well as the academic program, the camp includes a rich cultural component where students interact with traditional Elders and role models to enhance cultural understandings, stimulate personal growth and develop leadership.

Following the summer school, students are supported with a leadership program through Years 11 and 12.

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