Meet Natalie Foster, Aurora’s National High School Program Manager
What is your name and who is your mob?
Natalie Foster, Bidjigal
What is your position at Aurora?
The National High School Program Manager
Why did you decide to join Aurora?
Working with Aboriginal High School students is my passion and I 100% believe education is the pathway for change. Whilst working within a high school setting is amazing, it is limiting. Organisations like Aurora allow me the space to not only support Aboriginal kids but also the opportunity to help grow and develop them as future leaders. The High School Program (HSP) is the best program I have been lucky enough to work with, to see the impact it can have on not only our participants but also families. That’s why I love working for Aurora.
With Aurora focusing more on building Indigenous leadership, what does this mean to you and have you experienced any great example of Indigenous leadership?
I see examples of exceptional Indigenous leadership every day – our HSP mentors, Aurora staff and most importantly our HSP participants. HSP mentors are living proof that the Program works. We have outstanding mentors who have been aligned with Aurora for over 10 years and they are now the example for our HSP participants. We have such strong Indigenous leaders within the organisation that are now paving the way for Aurora to be the first thought in peoples’ minds when thinking about education and support for Indigenous high school students. Our HSP participants are the epitome of Indigenous leaders, despite everything they face they go to school every day, they work hard, they attend camps in their own time, and they go back to school and encourage younger Indigenous students to participate and think about their futures.
As the National Manager for the High School Program, why do you think it’s important to have more Indigenous leaders in positions of decision making?
Indigenous voices for Indigenous people. Life can be challenging for anyone but if we can draw on our own life experiences, cultural connection and identity as Aboriginal people we can not only develop but change the narrative around educational expectations of Aboriginal people.