Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience

09 February 2016

Dr CHALMERS (Rankin) (13:51):  Thousands upon thousands of Indigenous students have completed high school and gone on to study and work because of the activities of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience. On an important day like today, where the parliament comes together to take stock of progress on Closing the Gap, I wanted to acknowledge the work of Jack Manning Bancroft and his AIME colleagues, including the new co-CEO, Marlee Silva. There are almost 4,500 participants, involving hundreds of high schools, and mentees from 45 university campuses. AIME is providing support for Indigenous kids right around the country. They are doing an outstanding job of working on high school completion rates with outstanding results.

I have spent a fair bit of time in recent years with Jack—one of the most impressive young leaders we have; an extraordinary person who has been at the helm of AIME for 10 years now and is still only 30 years old. They have not only achieved measurable progress but also now put in place a very innovative and creative model to train future Indigenous leaders to take over the reins at AIME and, beyond that, to take over the reins of businesses, other NGOs and government agencies.

I encourage honourable members and the community beyond these walls to get behind their work which is achieving these remarkable results. You can donate on their site, like so many did during the Hottest 100 JJJ donation opportunity, you can buy a hoodie or a t-shirt from AIME Apparel, like I have, or you can encourage young people to volunteer as a mentor. All the money and all the effort goes to giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids the chance they need and deserve to help close the opportunity gap in this country.