About the Program

A young person will strive further if they feel they are being invested in.

Our High School Program provides intensive academic support over a 6-year period to Indigenous high school students. The Program seeks out young people with an interest in learning and the potential to undertake higher education. It helps students to realise their full academic potential. 

Delivered by specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, mentors and Elders, the Program provides each student with over 200 hours of wrap-around support each year. This includes 20 days of residential academic camps, tutoring, mentoring, well-being support, academic equipment (for example, laptops and Wi-Fi), as well as post Year 12 transition support.

The Stories

Tanya – WA Student
Tanya is from Perth and was initially hesitant to join the High School Program. Once she commenced, she thrived. She particularly loved the camps, utilised what she learnt in the classroom and her grades improved. She also received a tutor for English and History. During a rough patch in Year 11 where she was bullied, Program mentors and Elders provided invaluable advice that supported her to stay in school. In 2017, Tanya was accepted to study her first preference at university.

Philip – NSW Student
Philip went to school in regional NSW. He loved the practical support he received from the High School Program; without access to a laptop and Wi-Fi, he never would have been able to study online at home. The camps provided Philip with Indigenous perspectives within an academic curriculum. The study intensives motivated Phillip to think about his academic aspirations. Program staff supported him through important discussions about university that he was unable to have at home. Philip has just completed his first year at university.

The Statistics

70%
of high school program participants completed Year 12, compared to 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students nationally
40%
of high school program participants attained an ATAR, compared to 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students nationally
50%
of high school program participants transitioned to university directly from Year 12, compared to 25% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students nationally (by age 21)

The Impact

Independent evaluation by Nous Group concluded that the High School Program “could go a long way to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in educational outcomes”. It also noted the potential for the Program to contribute to significant systemic change. In addition, Nous found:

  • Year 12 completion and ATAR attainment rates for Program participants were far higher than those of other Indigenous students and comparable to non-Indigenous students.
  • The proportion of Program participants enrolled in university was far higher than for other Indigenous students and comparable to non-Indigenous students.
  • A strong sense of community was reported to have fostered participant engagement and motivation, and improved their health and wellbeing.
  • Participants’ educational aspirations and confidence were raised and their academic skills were strengthened.