The program features a suite of linked events and aims to:
- raise students’ awareness of health issues
- inspire students to take up careers in health, medicine and related-sciences
- present the university as a place for them
More than 1,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from 55 schools in the Campbelltown, Blacktown and Penrith regions have participated in a Heartbeat event since 2010.
Heartbeat is one of the many innovative schools-engagement programs run by Western Sydney University.
"My favourite was making the Lava lamps and I want to be a writer or teacher to teach health."
Brodie – Grade 6 student, Ambarvale public school
"I enjoyed Plasterama. I would like to go to uni and I want to be a Scientist."
Lincoln – Garde 3 student, Briar Road Public School
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a lower life expectancy than non-Indigenous Australians and their health status is not as good across a range of indicators. This is due to many factors, and is compounded by the under-representation in nearly every health profession. It is hoped that in the longer term Heartbeat will contribute to better health and education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Commitment to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
The Western Sydney University currently has over 450 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and is located in the midst of a large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
The University is committed to building and supporting the educational aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and helping them to achieve their educational and career goals. The University works with a range of stakeholders to develop and run programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students that provide them with opportunities to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence, and boost their prospects.
Our partners and supporters
The Western Sydney University team would like to acknowledge the following for their generous support of the Heartbeat program:
- The Australian Government Higher Education Participation Programme (HEPP)
- Bridges to Higher Education
- The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association
- NSW Health
- The Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service
- St John Ambulance Australia