Hundreds of Indigenous students from 17 schools across the Gold Coast are at Bond University this week for the national launch of the annual Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) event, where they are mentored by Bond University students.
Program Manager, Robbie Miller said the high school students came from schools located from Murwillumbah in the south to Shailer Park and Loganlea in the north.
“They are from years 9 to 12 and they will be mentored by Australian and international Bond students,” he said.
“AIME is a not-for-profit charity which provides a six year mentoring program for Indigenous Australians currently in high school.
“The event partners these students with University student volunteers with the aim of improving completion rates and lifting tertiary education admissions for participants.”
In total 45 Bond University students will volunteer their time to be part of the mentoring exercise over a period of three days. More than 200 high school students will be involved in the program this year.
Mr Miller said the mentors were role models for the high school students and they have the chance to positively affect a young Indigenous students’ life.
The different age groups will be broken down into three different sessions. “For the year nine students it is basically an introduction to the program,” he said.
“For the year 10’s it is about reconnecting with the program and then building on last year and for the final year secondary students it is about getting everything set for their big year and letting the mentors and event organisers know what their plans are for 2015 so we can give them every chance of achieving those goals.”
He said AIME was an educational and aspirational program designed to show young Indigenous students that they can make it in life, and if they set goals and work towards those goals in most instances they will succeed.
“The spin-off for Bond students, particularly our international students from outside Australia, is that they get to make an impact in a meaningful way and can actually influence the life part of the mentees they are engaging with,” he said.
He said Bond University was continually looking for more mentors and also more schools to participate. Bond University aims to become the leading tertiary institution in Australia for Indigenous student enrolment.