Inspiring school students to achieve
Raising school students' awareness of the myriad of career opportunities available to them is a key aim of the University of Adelaide's community engagement activities.
The University's Office for Community Engagement, with the help of many volunteers, organises annual `enterprise days' - events that bring together school students, community and business leaders, and others who make a positive impact on society both locally and overseas.
Recently, more than 275 students from primary and secondary schools attended separate events for the western and far northern regions of Adelaide.
The annual Western Region Enterprise Day, held last month in Bonython Hall on the North Terrace Campus, involved primary and secondary students as well as members of charity enterprises.
For the first time, a Northern Enterprise Education Day was also held at the University's Roseworthy Campus, joining secondary students with members of business.
"These events are all about giving students a broader view of their future career options," said the Director of Community Engagement, Martyn Evans.
"By hearing stories from young business people who share their tales of personal success, and from social entrepreneurs who are making a positive impact on local and overseas communities, we hope to enlighten and inspire students to think about new pathways to follow.
"The enterprise days also encourage students to think about the basic business principles that apply to social enterprise and entrepreneurship," he said.
At the end of each event, secondary students gave PowerPoint presentations to demonstrate some of the ideas they gained during the day, while the primary students involved in the Western Region Enterprise Day developed their own fundraising product.
"These activities complement the students' teaching and aim to provide them with a basic understanding of such things as business practice, marketing and financial management," Mr Evans said.
Now in its 14th year, the annual Western Region Enterprise Day event has inspired more than 2500 school students. The keynote speaker was Nikki Lovell from One Village, a charity that helps people in the Ugandan village of Namwendwa.
South Australian Youth Minister the Hon. Grace Portolesi MP attended the event, as well as a number of representatives from Charles Sturt, West Torrens, and Port Adelaide Enfield councils.
The Member for Wakefield, Mr Nick Champion MP, officially opened the Northern Enterprise Education Day at Roseworthy. The keynote speaker was Mike Chalmers from Add Value Promotions and President of the Entrepreneurs Organisation.
A number of other representatives from Playford, Gawler, Barossa and Clare and Gilbert Valley council districts also attended.
Mr Evans said he was grateful for the involvement of state and local governments, community and business organisations, Advantage SA, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the schools themselves.
"They all understand the value of engaging with students in this way, and helping students to discover what kind of future they want for themselves and for their communities," he said.
Story by David Ellis