Winter learning and sunny vibes as Year 12 students embrace time at UWA

Year 12 students Marlee Whiting and Thomas Leach might live 750km apart but for three days this week they’ll be next door neighbours as they take part in the Fairway Winter School experience at The University of Western Australia.

“Living so far away means I haven’t had a lot of interaction with the unis in Perth.”Year 12 student Marlee Whiting

They’re two of 39 high achieving year 12 pupils from across the State, including 13 from regional and remote areas, taking part in the event – a mix of academic and social activities held at UWA’s world-class EZONE hub.

The Fairway UWA Program, run by the University’s Student Equity team, is focused on providing academic and social support to high school students who need it, helping to prepare them for life beyond high school.

Marlee Whiting and Thomas LeachImage: Marlee Whiting and Thomas Leach.

For Year 12 student Marlee from Esperance Senior High School, who hopes to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts at UWA next year, it’s meant an opportunity to fly to Perth for some longed-for ‘on campus’ experience before she finishes school and starts her university journey.

“Living so far away means I haven’t had a lot of interaction with the unis in Perth,” Marlee said.

“Mum and Dad both work, and I have a younger brother and sister also at school, so my family are pretty thrilled I’m getting this opportunity to meet up with other students and get information about scholarships and study techniques for next year.

“I’ve really appreciated the opportunity.”

For Thomas, School Captain at Cape Naturalist College in Vasse, the UWA Winter School is providing invaluable assistance in getting ready for university, where he plans to study Engineering and Commerce at UWA.

“As well as reconnecting with students I met at the Summer School, and having the chance for some revision in ATAR English and maths, we had a guest speaker from TISC (the Tertiary Institutions Services Centre), who came along to give us advice in filling in our uni applications,” Thomas said.

“That was really helpful and I’m enjoying being able to interact with students from other areas during what is a pretty full-on year.”

Fairway UWA Project Officer Dr Tristan Fidler said the team-building activities during the week will run by Fairway Ambassadors, who are current UWA students, and was one of the highlights.

“Many of the ambassadors have been through the Fairway Program themselves and love being able to give back and help other young people find their feet and learn as much as they can about university before taking that big next step in their education,” Dr Fidler said.