The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Indigenous Governance Awards from a pool of 113 high quality applicants.
The brainchild of Jack Manning Bancroft, an Aboriginal man, AIME has been applauded as an organisation for achieving results and succeeding in an area that many others have failed.
Sydney-based, with a growing national footprint, AIME supports our First Australians into further education, training and employment.
After winning a scholarship to the prestigious St Paul’s College, Bancroft began to form the idea for AIME.
He realised that his good fortune to win a place at St Paul’s could be replicated among other young Indigenous people if those privileged students took the time to mentor them.
Bancroft’s aim was to make the experience of attending university less daunting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and believed the generosity of his more fortunate colleagues could assist.
His vision became a reality when in 2005, 25 Sydney-based high school students were mentored by 25 volunteers from the University of Sydney and AIME was underway.
Incorporated in 2008, AIME is now Australia’s largest education support service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students. It has a volunteer base of more than 1,600 university students mentoring 3,500 Indigenous students around the country.
In 2013, of the 220 AIME students who completed Year 12, 59 transitioned to university, with many others accessing further education, training and employment.
AIME also achieves impressive results in driving Year 12 completion rates with 93 percent of AIME students transitioning from Year 10 to Year 11, traditionally an historical ‘drop out’ point.
AIME’s vision is to have Australia’s Indigenous high school students match the levels of education, training and employment of non-Indigenous students, simply by providing a mentoring program that instills confidence, belief and the skills necessary for each individual student to achieve their goals.
The winner of the Awards will be announced in late October.