RISE – Press Release

MAJOR AUSTRALIA-FIRST RESEARCH INITIATIVE TO

REDEFINE INDIGENOUS SUCCESS IN EDUCATION

Aurora Education Foundation (Aurora), a non-profit Indigenous organisation that builds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership through education, has announced the launch of a major new initiative, RISE, to redefine Indigenous success in education and help shape the future of Australia’s education system.

RISE will address critical gaps in knowledge about what works in Indigenous education through a collaboration with approximately 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students over the next five years. Central to this will be the delivery and evaluation of programs that enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to define and pursue their version of success with academic, cultural and wellbeing support.

“RISE will help to shape a new narrative of high expectations and possibilities with the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders,” said Leila Smith, CEO of Aurora. “We know that if Indigenous students see themselves in the design of the education system, they will be more likely to resonate with it, engage with it, take ownership of it and succeed within it. RISE is an important step in making this a reality.”

The extensive data that results from RISE will establish a clear link between specific types of support and Indigenous student outcomes. This will be fundamental to improving educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, building a pipeline of Indigenous leaders, and creating a platform for Indigenous-led advocacy and reform.

Grant from the Paul Ramsay Foundation

The Paul Ramsay Foundation has committed a multi-million dollar investment to help Aurora deliver RISE over the next five years. This significant commitment is a testament to the potential of RISE, and the ways in which it can improve educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and create a pipeline of Indigenous leaders.

Professor Glyn Davis, AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, said that RISE represents a great opportunity to support Indigenous-led innovation in education.

“We’re pleased to support Aurora to refine the model for their successful high school program, and to test in a culturally appropriate and rigorous way which key components really support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to succeed on their own terms. With Aurora steering this program and engaging deeply with the communities in which they work, we know the insights and impact will reflect the strength of community knowledge and have implications for everyone working for improved outcomes. We’re thrilled to support such a program,” said Davis.

Partnership with Australian National University

Aurora has also partnered with the Australian National University (ANU), which will support the design, delivery and evaluation of the RISE initiative.

“The Centre for Social Research and Methods at The Australian National University (ANU) is excited to be partnering with the Aurora Education Foundation on the design, delivery and evaluation of RISE, a major Australia-first initiative to redefine Indigenous success in education,” said Professor Matthew Gray, Director, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.

“ANU has a long history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to support program design and evaluation, particularly through community development, evidence-based policy design, and generating research findings for the academic and general community. Our work with Aurora will be grounded in this experience, and supported through a flow of knowledge between the ANU, Aurora, the Paul Ramsay Foundation and, most importantly, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are at the core of the initiative.

“We share Aurora’s vision of a society in which First Nations Peoples determine their education and career aspirations through life-long learning, and we are excited about the potential of this initiative, what it means for the future of Australia’s education system and how it can contribute to a pipeline of Indigenous leaders,” concluded Gray.

Collaboration with Indigenous data governance and advocacy experts

RISE will be co-designed with Indigenous data governance and advocacy experts, as well as Indigenous communities and key members of Aurora’s team. This will not only ensure that the initiative is grounded in Indigenous concepts of success in education, but will also demonstrate how Indigenous-led data can be used as a tool to promote Indigenous self-determination.

“RISE is at the precipice of an Indigenous-led education revolution,” said Smith. “It will generate an evidence base about what works in Indigenous education unlike anything else in Australia, and create a platform for Indigenous-led advocacy and reform. I am delighted to be in a position where supporting and encouraging Indigenous students on such a large scale is possible. I am confident this is a turning point for Indigenous education and education reform in Australia.”

ENDS

For more information or interview opportunities, please contact:

Naomi Brooker

naomi@suada.com.au

+61 0421 008 746

About the Aurora Education Foundation

The Aurora Education Foundation is an Indigenous organisation that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to realise their full education and employment potential – whether it is completing Year 12 or achieving a PhD from Cambridge. Through our interconnected pathways, we walk with students from high school through to university and the workplace, redefining Indigenous educational and employment success.

Aurora’s programs are made possible through the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, the National Indigenous Australians Agency and other partners.