Title

Improving Indigenous graduation rates the AIME for Notre Dame student

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 8-8-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place

Broome

Abstract

Raising awareness about the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) was a priority for University of Notre Dame Aboriginal student, Peter Dawson, during a recent visit to the Broome Campus.

Donning a blue-hooded jumper as part of National Hoodie Day, Mr Dawson spoke with lecturers and students in Broome about improving Year 12 graduation rates of Indigenous students through the unique mentoring program offered by AIME.

AIME is a not-for-profit Indigenous organisation that partners university student volunteers in one-on-one mentoring relationships with Indigenous high school students from Year 7 to Year 12.

The AIME program encourages high school students to view their Indigenous culture as an asset with a focus on building resilience to prepare them for success in tertiary studies.

Mr Dawson said there were mutual benefits for both mentors and mentees who took part in the AIME program as it fostered long term relationships with schools and universities.

“My role model throughout high school was my older brother and seeing the doors that he opened with a university degree from Notre Dame inspired me to seek the same level of education,” Mr Dawson said.

“University students can help demystify the tertiary experience for Indigenous people.

“Notre Dame has the potential to establish a similar program at the Sydney, Fremantle and Broome campuses due to the University’s commitment to community service and reconciliation.”

As the only university with an established campus in the North West, Notre Dame’s Broome Campus has a unique opportunity to engage with high school students in the region.

Notre Dame’s Nulungu Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Broome Campus has a vision of providing excellence in teaching, research and in the valuing of community based Indigenous knowledge.

Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Nulungu, Professor Lyn Henderson-Yates, said strategies which provided Indigenous students with increased support to further their education were vital.

“Mentoring Indigenous students is one such strategy that can play a significant role in assisting students to make the transition between secondary school and university,” Professor Henderson-Yates said.

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093