Bond University supports Indigenous students through many ways including providing mentoring through their studies. In addition Bond also features culture, art and traditions on campus. Bond University actively encourages and provides opportunities for all students to engage with Indigenous communities in the local region and throughout Australia.
Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)
Through the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), more than 100 Bond students volunteer their time each year to mentor local Indigenous high school students. Musician Robbie Miller (winner of the 2013 Triple-J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Award) is based on campus as AIME’s Gold Coast Program Manager, connecting Bond’s student mentors with some 230 local high school mentees.
St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie
Every year, the Student Society for Indigenous Awareness organises a team of Bond students to travel to the remote North Queensland town of Abergowrie to work with the predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys who board at St Teresa’s College. Working as volunteer teacher aides, our Bondies help in the classrooms and night study sessions, organise sports and other activities, and provide information on tertiary study options and career pathways.
Kununurra Youth Program
The annual Kununurra Youth Program, coordinated by the Student Philanthropy Council, sees a group of Bond students spend two weeks, twice per year, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, living and breathing the Kununurra way of life. Working with Save the Children Australia, the students run school holiday programs for at-risk children in the Kununurra, Wyndham and Kalumbura communities.
In addition to presenting sporting, recreation and education programs for up to 400 children a day, the student volunteers deliver a number of programs developed by Bond University academics. These include the One Goal One Community Anti-Bullying Campaign and Indigenous Express – a public speaking course. The team also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore native lands and sacred sites under the guidance of community elders, and to share in a culture over 40,000 years old.
Yarning Up is an initiative which involves an annual visit to some of Queensland’s most remote Indigenous communities by a group of school Principals and high-profile business people led by Indigenous facilitators and Bond University representatives.
The inaugural trip was held in 2014 to Lockhart River and originally was an all female trip in conjunction with the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, which evolved to include male executives and educators. The trip location alternates between Lockhart River and the Torres Strait Islands each year.
The aim of the trip is to give participants the opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges faced by Indigenous Australians living in remote communities. This unique experience of meeting community leaders, seeing the issues and challenges and being immersed in culture has a profound impact on the participants. The participants, who are influencers in their schools and businesses, come away changed in their thinking. As a consequence of their experience, they go on to create, develop and invest in practical economic and educational initiatives.
Local Indigenous projects
The Nyombil Indigenous Support Centre, the Bond Indigenous Awareness Society and the Pathways and Partnerships teams coordinate a range of activities and opportunities for Bond’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. These activities are designed to engage with elders, leaders and communities in south-east Queensland and northern NSW. A number of initiatives are also held on campus, including a full program of NAIDOC Week celebrations, fundraising for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, the annual Indigenous Gala and a variety of networking opportunities.