For Schools

Heartbeat is a multi-year program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students featuring a suite of linked events for students in years 3 and above. 

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Heartbeat program aims

Program structure

After joining in years 3 or 4, students are invited back each year for different events that build upon the knowledge and experience gained previously. 

More than 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from 48 schools across South-Western and Western Sydney have participated in a Heartbeat event since its launch in 2010.

Heartbeat is one of the many innovative schools-engagement programs run by Western Sydney University

Staying proud

Heartbeat is also about giving students a true appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions. Aboriginal elders and educators are involved in every Heartbeat event.

Each Heartbeat event also involves Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students studying relevant degrees at Western Sydney University- Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Sports Science, Exercise Science, Physiotherapy, Food Science, Paramedicine, etc. They act as guides for students on the day and talk about how they came to study at university. 

The children really enjoyed the day and the people they met. They got an insight into the university and the doors it opens. They were all interested and want to go back.

Heartbeat events

View our full list of events scheduled for 2017.

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Events like this show the students where they can head in education. Also the kids were talking afterwards about doing healthy activities like washing hands and eating healthy food.

Why Heartbeat?

The University is committed to building and supporting the educational aspirations of Aborignal and Torres Strait Islander people, and helping them to achieve their educational and career goals. Western Sydney 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.

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 their being under-representation in nearly every health profession. It is hoped that in the longer term Heartbeat will contribute to better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through participants adopting good health practices, and pursuing careers in health, medicine and related sciences.

Events and student resources

Find out more about the different events for students in years 3 and above.

Want more information about Heartbeat?

Please contact Jacqui Cornforth, Heartbeat and Pathways To Dreaming Project Officer, Schools Engagement at Western Sydney University at or (02) 9678 7330.

Schools involved in the Heartbeat program

The Heartbeat program works with over 50 schools.

A list of schools involved in the Heartbeat program.

Image of WSU Student guides