Year 12 students thrive at Holsworth Biomedical Research Initiative Autumn School

La Trobe University’s Holsworth Biomedical Research Initiative hosted the first ever ‘Autumn School’ for year 12 students, at the La Trobe Rural Health School in Bendigo.

During the Easter break, 22 year twelve students from Bendigo and Echuca high schools were given the opportunity to experience university life first-hand, thanks to the Holsworth Biomedical Research Initiative.  This first cohort of ‘Autumn School’ students spent 3 days with staff from the La Trobe Rural Health School (LRHS), including spending two nights in share-house accommodation.

The cohort participated in hands-on practical sessions, team building and problem-solving exercises, and learned about courses offered at the LRHS.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College student Alana Tzaros said she found the sessions really helpful. ‘All the staff were excellent and very understanding. It was awesome to speak to them not only about the career we were thinking of following, but also about their personal achievements.’ She was particularly impressed by the paramedicine sessions which gave her ‘a true insight to the course and what it involved.’

Academics from across the LRHS delivered lab-based and simulation practicals based on undergraduate classes including paramedicine, biochemistry, pharmacy, dentistry, microscopy, anatomy and physiotherapy, and exercise science.

The secondary school students also enjoyed a meet and greet session with current undergraduate students, and presentations and panel discussions from industry professionals. They shared meals, transport and accommodation.

‘Meeting new people was awesome and everyone was very welcoming,’ Alana said. ‘I really enjoyed this experience and I’m very grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend.’

Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of participants stating that they would recommend the Autumn School to others in the future.

Organisers Ellyse Roper and Donna Whelan from the Holsworth Biomedical Research Initiative expressed their thanks to the La Trobe staff, students and volunteers for the time and enthusiasm they provided to ensure its success. ‘We are so pleased with the success of this inaugural Autumn School experience,’ Ellyse said. ‘We’re looking forward to hosting the Summer School programs planned for January 2023 and 2024.’

Media contact: Julia Henery