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Four students sitting in front of steps of the Quadrangle

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs

Immersive on-campus and academic enrichment experiences
We encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to consider higher education and equip them with the skills and support they need to succeed.

We offer opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to: 

  • experience university life
  • engage in educational activities in a supportive and inclusive environment
  • attend on-campus events and week-long residential Summer and Winter programs
  • participate in in-school programs with their peers.

Summer Program

If you have ever wondered about university, the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program is a great way to try it out. Stay on-campus, access world-class facilities and meet current university students who also came to the Summer Program. 

We pay for your travel, accommodation, and all other expenses associated with the Summer Program. All you need to do is apply. 

The Summer Program is for Year 10, 11 and 12 students. It will equip you with useful skills for your final years at school and allow you to explore options for university and careers.

Take a look at the Summer Program photos.

It is an opportunity to investigate a subject area of your choice and experience being a uni student. You will select to spend three days in one of the following programs:

  • Architecture, Visual Arts, Design and Planning
  • Business and Economics
  • Education and Social Work
  • Health Science and Nursing
  • Humanities and Law
  • Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy
  • Music
  • Natural Science and Engineering.

There is no cost for the schools or families of students who participate in the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program. The University of Sydney will pay for travel, meals, accommodation and all other expenses associated with the program. However, if students would like some spending money for their time on campus, they will need to bring this personally.

Applications for the 2019 Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program are now closed.

Please refer to the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu eligibility criteria document (pdf, 45KB) for more information about what we need in your application to participate in the Summer Program.

You can submit a draft of your application for feedback too using the Writing Feedback option at Studiosity.

Please note the dates on the Summer Program timeline (pdf, 19KB) and ensure you meet these deadlines to be considered.

We understand that school results alone are not always a true measure of a student’s potential, so we ask that you consider not only students who are academically adept, but also those who are motivated to succeed, committed to their studies and/or active in their communities.

You will need to provide a statement of support with each student’s application. When completing the statement of support, please refer to the selection criteria.

Please note the dates on the Summer Program timeline (pdf, 19KB) and encourage your students to meet these deadlines.


Where four or more students from one school are successful in their applications, the University will also support a school chaperone to attend. Principals are asked to select a staff member who engages and motivates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within their school community. 

Chaperones will be provided with accommodation and travel, and in return are expected to assist with the supervision of students and partake in the Chaperone Program.

What can I do to help my child/ward adjust to the Summer Program easily?

If this is your child/ward’s first time away from home, please do not be tempted to say you will come and get them if they feel homesick. Instead, reinforce the idea that they will have a great time. Encourage them to talk to the staff during the program about any concerns they may have.

What pastoral care is offered?

Pastoral care at the Summer Program is overseen by a dedicated team. The team is comprised of a number of Aunties and Uncles in-residence and Chaperones travelling with participants to the Program. The team is available to students and staff day and night.

Will my child/ward be sharing a room?

Rooms accommodate 1-2 students for the Summer Program. If there are any specific room share requests, we will do our best to accommodate them. Rooms are allocated according to gender, age and geographic location.

Our staff stay in separate rooms adjacent to the students and will be responsible for students' safety and behaviour during the night.

What type of supervision is provided?

We adopt a '1 staff member to 8 students' supervision ratio at all times.

What if my child/ward is coming to the Summer Program alone?

The Summer Program is a great place for students to make friends. There are students travelling from all over the country for the Summer Program, many of whom will come on their own. The Summer Program includes both structured and less formal time so that participants will have opportunities to mingle and get to know other students from the Summer Program.

Will someone be there to greet and see off my child/ward at the beginning and end of the program?

Upon arrival at the airport, students will be greeted by University of Sydney staff members who will be wearing a Wingara Mura – Bunga Barrabugu staff shirt and carrying a sign with "Wingara Mura – Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program". They will travel with students from the station or airport to the University. Following the completion of the Summer Program, students will be escorted to the station or airport and then supervised until boarding. In the week prior to the commencement of the program, we will be in touch with specific details of where our staff will be located to greet your child/ward.

What about special medical requirements?

We take your child/ward’s health seriously and our staff are experienced in helping with conditions such as asthma and diabetes and will record and carefully supervise students who need to self-administer medication. In addition to first aid trained staff being present at all times, a dedicated senior paramedic nurse will be on site for emergencies and the University Health Service is aware that we will have students on campus during this week. Please make sure that the medical forms are filled out correctly and do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

What if I need to contact my child/ward in case of a family emergency?

In case of emergency, staff are contactable 24 hours a day. Phone numbers will be provided in the week prior to the commencement of the Summer Program.

What if my child/ward is injured or ill?

Wherever possible you will be contacted immediately and notified of the nature of the illness or injury. If medical attention is required, students are taken to the nearest medical centre or hospital. Students with minor illnesses or injuries can stay on campus under the supervision of the University medical services and a senior paramedic nurse who will be onsite from 7am–11pm daily.

Will my child/ward be safe?

All activities are supervised by qualified and experienced staff with first aid qualifications. All staff are screened for their suitability to work with children and are trained in safeguarding children.

How do you protect my child/ward from bullying?

Poor behaviour such as bullying is not tolerated. Students who display inappropriate behaviour or language towards others and cannot follow staff instruction are typically disciplined with removal from activities and free time. If this behaviour continues, the offending participant will be removed from the Summer Program and sent home. Please encourage your child/ward to speak to a staff member immediately if they are experiencing any bullying issues.

What happens if a child/ward departs without prior authorisation?

For safety reasons, if a participant is unaccountable for roll call, does not attend any activity/event or is found to have left the University of Sydney campus without prior consent from the Summer Program Event Manager as well as you/your nominated contact, we will notify the Police, Family and Community Services and contact you/your nominated contact person.

Can my child/ward have visitors during the Summer Program?

If you wish for your child to receive visitors during the Summer Program including family or friends you need to contact the Summer Program Event Manager for consent to ensure timing is suitable with other activities. Visitors will need to show photographic ID on arrival and will be asked to sign out before students will be released into visitors' care and sign in on their return. The same applies for pickups/departures.

What happens in the event of an accident or emergency?

In an emergency, the Summer Program Event Manager can be contacted on 0448 419 140. Parents/guardians will be contacted if medical conditions or other serious issues arise.

Winter Program

The Bunga Barrabugu Winter Program is a week-long academic intensive workshop to prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students for their end-of-school exams.

Students attend academic workshops presented by expert tutors and undertake exam practice and preparation. During the week, students meet academics from faculties to discuss preferences and pathways and may have the opportunity to meet with industry partners.

Take a look at the photos from our Winter Program.

Winter Program highlights