31 October 2013

Professor Peter Buckskin and Jack Manning Bancroft As the school year wraps up, 100 high school students from Adelaide’s northern region are set to become the first cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to complete the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) program in South Australia.

A national mentoring program, AIME’s South Australian component is led by nearly 80 university student mentors from the University of South Australia. This week the university mentors and their mentees will come together at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus to celebrate AIME’s successful first year in South Australia.

Held on November 1, the event will involve special guest sessions with former Adelaide Crows football player Richard Tambling, Aboriginal scholar Lowitja O'Donoghue and UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd.  

UniSA occupational therapy student and AIME mentor Kimberley Hunter says the event caps off a fantastic year, which has seen mentors help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students realise their potential.

“For me, being a mentor was a really rewarding experience. We were able to build connections with the high school students and as the year progressed, see how much more engaged these students became as a result of AIME,” says Hunter, who is from the Nyikina peoples.

“Being Indigenous myself, I know how much I would have benefited from something like this in high school – that’s why I wanted to be involved. Having a mentor who can offer help and guidance is so important.”

Professor Peter Buckskin, Dean of Indigenous Scholarship, Engagement and Research at UniSA, says AIME’s first year in South Australia has been a huge success and the University is looking forward to continuing the program next year.

“AIME has been changing the lives of Indigenous students in the eastern states for several years. Through our partnership with the program, Indigenous students in our state now also have access to AIME’s winning formula, which is seeing Indigenous students’ participation and progression rates in high school education increase,” says Prof Buckskin.

“The feedback we are receiving from teachers, high school students, university mentors and the wider community indicates the program’s first year in South Australia has been a huge success.”

AIME works through an educational program facilitated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models, and supported by mentors, which gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers.

The AIME event will take place from 10am to 2:00pm on Friday, November 1 at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus.

Media Contact

Rosanna Galvin office (08) 8302 0578 mobile 0434 603 457 email rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

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