Creating a ripple effect of high expectations – students, families, communities and schools
Tuesday 8 December 2015
At the end of 2015, TAI Academic Enrichment Program students in New South Wales and Victoria have graduated from school and 86% of students have applied for university, with many students already receiving early offers. As they reflected on their final year at school and being part of TAI, here is what they had to say:
“My first camp I was this nervous little 13 year old … and looking at the whole group now we aren't just friends, we're family. Feeling at home doesn't just mean being in a place you're comfortable with, it means being with people you love and who support you through the roughest and toughest of times. Thank you all for your love and amazing support for the last 4 years with not just school but the struggles of becoming a young adult and finding myself in the world. I'm so grateful for you all and cherish the time and effort you all put in to every camp & extra things we do.”(TAI Student, planning to study Bachelor of Science)
“TAI is our home away from home and for a student to say that about a learning space, I think it is something that should be recognised. Being part of this program has also encouraged me to hold on to and learn more about my Aboriginality which is something that, if I never was part of TAI, I don't think that I would be able to do. This program has been the most awesome experience! From sitting in university lectures to creating them ourselves. From hotel rooms to swags. From university learning spaces to red dirt learning spaces. From rivers to beaches, from buses to quad bikes. From not being motivated at all to now having such a huge goal ahead of me that I know I'll achieve.” (TAI Student, planning to study Bachelor of Psychology or Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice)
“It’s extremely hard to summarise the impact that TAI has had on my life. In its simplest form, TAI has provided me with a network of not only knowledgeable and dedicated people, but has also created a group of life-long friends. My current path through school and on to university has been influenced a great deal by the work of TAI and the people I have met through it. The advice I receive as a part of this program is different than that which I have acquired from any other source. These people have a genuine interest in my success, and I know they will continue to support me whenever I am in need. This program goes above and beyond the bar for organisations of this nature. This isn’t simply the one off word of encouragement that many programs of this kind provide; TAI and the people I have met through it have a genuine investment in my education, and will continue to be a part of my life for the long haul.” (TAI Student, planning to study a Bachelor of Arts or Journalism)
Some other highlights:
- After the success of the NSW and Victorian Family Conference at University of Canberra last year, WA hosted their first family conference in September. WA families came together with Uncle Noel Nannup, Aunty Min Taylor with TAI staff for a weekend of sharing knowledge on Noongar Country. The weekend started by following protocols of introduction; to each other and to the place. This flowed easily into conversations around family and student experiences and into student support. On Sunday, expert guests were invited to share their knowledge around university applications and social and emotional wellbeing. The information prompted some really great conversations about education options and available support.
- Over these school holidays TAI students will be participating in academic camps across the country including December camps in Western NSW and Mornington Victoria and January camps at Curtin University in Perth, Northern NSW and Portland Victoria.
- Since 2013, TAI staff have delivered professional development and learning (PD&L) around embedding Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge in the school curriculum to approximately 22 schools, 1 network of Principals, 2 universities and 120 distance education educators. Over the last year, TAI has been engaged to deliver PD&L for the ACT Education Training Directorate and the Queanbeyan Region of the NSW Department of Education and Training. The most recent work conducted within the Queanbeyan region involved a two day master-class on embedding Indigenous perspectives for expert-teachers, selected from across the region. The ACT workshop series entitled Australian Curriculum Series: Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in the learning program involved 3 day sessions run in March, May and November. The series culminated in teachers designing, delivering and presenting a school-based project that responded to the workshop content.
- TAI’s academic enrichment program was recently featured as a case study in a Report by Dusseldorp Forum, The Case for Inclusive Learning Systems: Building more inclusive learning systems in Australia. Read the report here.