“Galuwa” which means ‘to climb’ in Gadigal language, is a program run by UTS to encourage Indigenous high school students from years 10-12 to undertake a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), while simultaneously giving them a taste of university life.
The five-day program which was held on July 15-19, allowed more than 20 students to converse with industry partners and attend workshops led by the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology and the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning.
ABB conducted a session on robotics, with both Peter Katsos, Robotics Business Line Manager and John Young, Robotics National Service Manager. The pair encouraged student and demonstrated how to program the robots, which ABB has installed at the UTS campus over the years.
“My favourite thing this week was the visit to ABB and meeting the managers, discussing what pathways they have to offer; and the internship programs they have to offer as well,” detailed Jesse Cochran-Alfred of Wilyama High School in Broken Hill.
On the final evening of the week, ABB held a graduation for the students, where they were able to network, discuss their career aspirations and listen to the stories of successful graduates. One Galuwa graduate is now interning with NASA to develop robots which function on icy landscapes.
Since the implementation of the program, UTS has seen a fivefold increase in Indigenous students studying STEM at UTS. With a 100% employment rate, many of the graduates now working with industry partners such as ABB.
There are many examples of success, with an overwhelming majority of Galuwa graduates setting the goal of attending university. “This program makes you more comfortable that you can achieve,” offered Elijah Shervey, a current UTS student who previously attended Galuwa.
With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students only accounting for 1.4% of all university enrolments, the Galuwa program aims to bridge the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians who complete year 12 and attend university.
By supporting the Galuwa program, ABB is demonstrating their continual dedication to following its Reconciliation Action Plan outlined in 2013.
Through determination, respect and responsibility, ABB maintains its strong commitment to do business with, and find opportunities to employ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent. The Galuwa program is one of the pillars put in place to ensure this Indigenous talent can reach their potential and build a successful career.