News

University of Sydney primes pipeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent


9 July 2012

(L-R) Adam Hansen, Professor Derrick Armstrong, Professor Shane Houston and Ben Bowen. Adam and Ben are University of Sydney AIME program managers.
(L-R) Adam Hansen, Professor Derrick Armstrong, Professor Shane Houston and Ben Bowen. Adam and Ben are University of Sydney AIME program managers.

The University of Sydney is helping drive the academic achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, a report by a not-for-profit mentoring organisation has found.

The annual report, released by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students who participated in the intensive leadership and educational program run by AIME at the University of Sydney last year progressed to their next year of schooling at rates closer to their non-Indigenous peers.

The report shows that 100 percent of year nine students who participated in the AIME program at the University continued to year 10, while 85.2 percent of year 10 students continued to year 11, approaching the national non-Indigenous average for the year group of 90.2 percent.

On a national level, the report found school completion rates for AIME students to be significantly higher than the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander completion rates across every year level. The year nine to 12 completion rate for AIME students was 62.7 percent - double the national Indigenous average of 32.4 percent and approaching the national non-Indigenous average of 75.2 percent.

The 2011 AIME program brought together students from Alexandria Park Community School, Ashfield Boys High School, Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design, Marrickville High School, Newington College, Newtown High School of Performing Arts, St Scholastica's College, Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus, Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus and Tempe High School.

"After eight years working together, the University of Sydney has again shown its commitment to our Indigenous young people by backing AIME at all levels. These results show what happens when committed people align around a common goal," said AIME CEO Jack Manning Bancroft.

"AIME provides an opportunity for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to connect with students from the University of Sydney, with clear benefits to both the high school and University students," said Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) at the University of Sydney.

"The University of Sydney and AIME both value these outcomes and the importance of our continuing partnership to gains in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education. The AIME program is a good example of the partnership needed for success."

The AIME program was mentioned as a best practice model in the Gonski Review and has recently featured on the ABC program, Australian Story. The organisation is currently undertaking deeper, longitudinal research into the impact of its program.


Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Alison Dunn, 0406 732 825, media@aimementoring.com

Katie Szittner, 02 9351 2261, 0478 316 809, katie.szittner@sydney.edu.au