The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) has welcomed a $5.75 million injection after the government announced it wants to do more to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
AIME runs youth-mentor programs that encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high-school students to transition to university and gain employment.
The financial investment will assist AIME in achieving their goal of seeing 10,000 Indigenous students graduate from their program by 2018 .
“These funds will help us reach a whole lot more kids,” Marlee Silva, AIME’s co- CEO, said.
“We will have more access to more university mentors who will come and work with the kids through the program and positively transition them beyond year 12, to university and onto further employment.”
The Indigenous Advancement Strategy Group is providing $5 million of the grant.
An additional $750,000 pledge is to assist AIME expand beyond the eighteen universities they currently have partnerships with.
The announcement to increase funds to AIME was made by Mr Nigel Scullion, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory.
He said the improved programs will encourage more university students from around Australia to become AIME mentors and support a further 6000 Aboriginal students to stay in school.
“AIME assist by providing that amicus role, that friend role, that mate while you’re at school, to ensure that you remain at school,” Scullion said.
“The results speak for themselves. Around 93 per cent of Aboriginal kids who come into this system end up completing the system and that is better than mainstream, so this is an absolutely fantastic program.”