11 September 2012

More than 100 UniSA students will mentor Indigenous students from seven high schools in the Northern Adelaide region. A new partnership between the University of South Australia and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) is set to raise young Indigenous South Australians’ school completion rates.

The target is to match the completion rates for Indigenous students to those of their non-Indigenous peers.

As the first South Australian AIME partner, UniSA will bring the dynamic and successful education program to South Australia next year.

More than 100 UniSA students will mentor Indigenous students from seven high schools in the Northern Adelaide region to increase Indigenous high school completion and university admissions rates.

UniSA Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Joanne Wright says she is delighted to announce the new partnership, which will provide university students with the chance to develop strong leadership, communication and cultural skills while supporting the wider community.

“Our partnership with AIME offers a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage with young Indigenous people - not only through the provision of tuition, but by offering critical guidance, support and motivation to high school students during this transitional stage of their lives,” Prof Wright says.    

“At the same time, the program will help UniSA students grow to become the graduates our university is known for – socially responsible citizens, able to think critically and creatively with a firm commitment to lifelong learning and to sharing knowledge.” 

The AIME program involves a number of mentoring and tutoring activities throughout the year, each targeted at students in different levels of high school.

Professor Peter Buckskin, Dean of Indigenous Scholarship, Engagement and Research at UniSA, says the program will increase the University’s ability to engage with Indigenous Australians.

“I am a strong advocate of the AIME program, which has enjoyed significant success interstate by increasing Indigenous participation in education,” says Prof Buckskin.

“Our partnership with AIME reaffirms the University’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and to providing pathways that encourage and facilitate Indigenous participation in education both at a high school and higher education level.

“This significant partnership will enhance UniSA’s capacity to engage Aboriginal youth and future leaders at the grass roots level.  

“We were the first university in Australia to issue a Statement of Commitment to Australian Reconciliation and are looking forward to heading the first AIME partnership in our state next year.”

AIME CEO Jack Manning Bancroft says he is looking forward to connecting hundreds of UniSA students with high school students across Northern Adelaide.

“It's always inspiring to work with groups like the University of South Australia that have the vision and commitment to invest in our young people,” Mr Manning Bancroft says.

“After eight years in operation across the east coast of Australia, with proven runs on the board showing AIME kids completing school at almost the same rate as every Australian child, we are really excited about bringing the magic to South Australia in 2013. Together, we are building an Australia where no kid gets left behind.”

UniSA Media Contact

Rosanna Galvin office (08) 8302 0578 email rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

AIME Media Contact

Alison Dunn office (02) 9319 0439 mobile 0406 732 825 email ad@aimementoring.com

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