Destination Melbourne first ran in 2009, as part of Transition & Orientation in the University’s Student Services Department, supported as part of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP). Since 2014, the University of Melbourne Student Union has taken over the administration of this program in recognition of its great potential as a student development and engagement initiative. It is managed by a team of dedicated student volunteers.
Student participants of Destination Melbourne are those who have accepted their University of Melbourne offer, and will commence their first years of tertiary studies in 2018. The program is mainly geared towards students of ‘disadvantaged backgrounds’, including (but not limited to):
- Rural, regional, interstate or living in isolated areas
- Low socioeconomic status
- Coming from an under-represented school
- Recognition as being of Indigenous background
- Mature age students (aged 23 years or older)
One of the most daunting, and most common, things about starting tertiary education is the amount of anxiety students may experience in regards to finding a supportive network of friends and achieving a manageable study-life workload. For students of disadvantaged backgrounds, this mountain of anxiety may be further surrounded by factors limiting their abilities.
Our Aims and the Destination Melbourne Program Objective
Destination Melbourne seeks to offer an early point of engagement for these students with the university lifestyle, preparing them for academic success and the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the extra-curricular and philanthropic student programs available.
Upon the program’s completion, we envisage that:
- Destination Melbourne students will have a greater understanding of tertiary life, new friends, and an eagerness to begin their degree;
- Students will be engaged in various workshops that increase their awareness and preparation entering tertiary studies;
- They will also be part of a larger alumni network of hosts and older students to which they can reach out for support, and
- Hosts and directors will forge partnerships both within the University and in the local community which will create a solid foundation for Destination Melbourne to continue running independently in future years.