That’s probably a conditioning from a working-class family that didn’t see university as an option.  Honestly, when you sat down as a child and you said, “I want to be an astronaut” – that was not something that… that’s great when you’re five but by the time you’re 13, 14, living in a country town,… Read More


At many institutions, these weeks mark the beginning of university for a new cohort of first year students. Orientation Week (or O Week) is when we invite our commencing students onto campus, generally bombard them with lots of information, perhaps even feed them and generally squeeze as much exposure to the institution as is possible… Read More


Welcome to 2018! Following a slight hiatus on the First-in-Family blogs, I have prioritised a regular blog after receiving data on how many people actually read the blogs in 2016-2017 – with just under 2,000 reads I have been inspired to keep writing! One of the reasons the blog entries diminished was due to my… Read More


This week our blog comes from some University of Wollongong and AIME colleagues who are reflecting upon a five-year research partnership that has explored the success of this Indigenous Mentoring program at a national and international level. Warm regards, Sarah   The [AIME] program … was definitely something for me that kept me there [attending… Read More


  The Conversations on Engaging and Retaining First-in-Family Learners in Higher Education on Friday 25th November at the University of Wollongong was the finale for this OLT Fellowship – and what a great day it was! We began planning the forum in earnest in March and drew on what we’d done the previous year for the… Read More


  I was recently invited to participate in the National Roundtable on Students as Partners organised by Kelly Matthews – this was part of Kelly’s Fellowship work and was held at University of Queensland in September. The Students as Partners approach to curriculum development and university engagement is broadly defined by authentic collaboration between staff and students both within… Read More


  ‘My higher education journey was facilitated by the encouragement and guidance of the people around me. The support that I received provided me with a sense of purpose in my studies and a sense of belonging to the university community.’ (Lisa, FiF student 2016) Part of my OLT Fellowship is exploring ways to foreground… Read More


  ‘I have learnt [university] is not as daunting as I thought…’ (Grandmother of School Student, Survey Respondent 2016) The quote above is derived from research that I have been conducting with the parents / caregivers of future university students, concerning respondents’ perceptions and understandings about university. The data from this research, combined with interviews and surveys… Read More