The Other Election - an Inspiration for Indigenous Australia

23 October 2013

Winner Danae Haynes and Head of Corporate Affairs at News Corp, Stephen Browning
"Winner Danae Haynes and Head of Corporate Affairs at News Corp, Stephen Browning"

The Other Election is the latest initiative by AIME which showcased 646 Indigenous students in years 10-12 delivering what would be their inaugural speech as Australia's first Indigenous Prime Minister.

Alumnus Jack Manning Bancroft, founded AIME in 2005 as a 19-year-old university student with the goal to see Indigenous educational equality.

"If over 600 Indigenous kids can write, rehearse and record their vision for Australia in just two hours; if a little mentoring program that started with 25 kids in Redfern and ran off the smell of an oily rag can grow to work with 2,000 kids across the nation; if we can see Indigenous kids finishing school at the same rate as every Australian kid and shattering the mould that has been cast for them, then just imagine what's possible," Mr Manning Bancroft said.

After topping an online poll of nearly 70,000 votes, the winner was a Victorian high school student, Danae Haynes. Danae placed first overall in the competition, after making a shortlist of ten candidates who attended workshops in Sydney in September where they were mentored by industry experts.

Danae was mentored by the Head of Corporate Affairs at News Corp, Stephen Browning, and AIME Assistant Operations and Communications Manager at RMIT University, Addie Walsh. Danae's speech centred on her own experience with overcoming stereotypes.

"So many times when I have told someone that I am Indigenous, their whole perspective of me changes," said Danae. "At these times I feel little. I am made to be less than everyone else. I am put in a situation where I am made to feel bad about myself."

Danae drew inspiration from the American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, and vowed to bring about equality for all.

"50 years ago, Martin Luther King delivered a speech in which he conveyed hope that one day, we will not be judged by the colour of our skin, but by the content of our character."

"If you vote for me as your Prime Minister, I will lead this change and help create an environment where everyone can stand tall and be proud of who they are."

She along with two other runners up will deliver their speeches at Parliament House later this year.

AIME works around Australia providing mentoring and educational services for Indigenous high school students to see them get through at the same rate as every Australian child. In 2013 AIME is working with 2,000 Indigenous high school students and plans to reach 10,000 students annually across Australia by 2018 - roughly one quarter of the Indigenous high school population.

Contact: Kate Macfarlane

Phone: 02 9351 7454

Email: 083920327d5d175b0033340816370a294212551e0016572f363e4d0b32