What is Outreach about?

We use a student-centred approach to encourage students to engage and take ownership of their learning and supports for academic excellence. This approach acknowledges that students’ lived experiences and socio-cultural contexts are diverse and informs their capacity and readiness to engage in educational pursuits.

The Program also emphasises the role that culture and community can play in goal-setting.

Our approach to developing and delivering Outreach sessions sets out to meet the identified needs of students in partnership with schools, families, and the local community. We work closely with schools to understand the areas of focus and design sessions around these areas. The process involves an initial consultation with the school to understand students’ needs. Then, we design a session outline which is provided to the school for review. After this, we incorporate feedback and finalise the session plan.

We can develop one off session plans or a suite of sessions across a term, semester, or year. For schools who wish to deliver a suite of Outreach sessions, we can complete a student survey or conduct small focus groups to develop a more accurate understanding of students’ needs and contexts. This enables us to close the feedback loop on both student and school needs and deliver meaningful, partner informed content.

Who is it for?

The Program delivers Outreach sessions that are tailored to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students’ needs based on consultation with schools. The Program team works closely with schools, both public and private, to understand student and teacher learning needs to define the desired academic and cultural outcomes. Together with our Aboriginal education expertise we develop session outlines to deliver a one-off session or a suite of sessions across a term, semester or year. For multi-session delivery, our team actively seeks to understand the goals and aspirations of each student and build a meaningful partnership to strengthen the students’ wellbeing, engagement, and attendance at school.

What do Outreach sessions look like?

Sessions can be delivered on school premises, online or in a different location depending on the topic or area being covered. Our outreach sessions can be tailored  from 5 up to 150 students and can include: 

Broadening horizons

Broadening horizons by sharing Indigenous mentor education and career journeys. For example, hearing from Indigenous mentors who have pursued studies and careers in law, health, medicine, psychology, hospitality, music, and teaching. 

Balance

Developing the capability to balance out-of-school responsibilities and pursue academic excellence. 

Mental health and wellbeing

Understanding agency and caring for mental health and wellbeing 

Goal setting

Goal and aspiration setting and identifying opportunities and pathways. 

Subject selection

Subject selection for Year 10. 

Skill development

Developing study and exam skills and preparing for NAPLAN and OLNA testing. 

Learning from Elders

Learning from Elders; learning at intersection of culture and education. For example, Elder, Uncle Noel Nannup, led students in building a Mia Mia (shelter made of bark, branches, leaves and grass) highlighting the valuable intersection between culture and future education pursuits in STEM, particularly in architecture and engineering. 

Who delivers it?

The Outreach sessions are delivered by Aurora staff and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentors who come from a wide range of backgrounds. They range from individuals who left school at a young age and have pursued education later in life to individuals who are undertaking vocational or university studies, as well as Aurora alumni who have studied overseas at some of the world’s top universities. Our community of Indigenous mentors closely reflects the diverse lived and educational experiences of students. Our mentors are all trained in a range of key skills to ensure a trauma-informed and impactful session with students. This includes mental health first aid training, as well as facilitation and public speaking skills.

We place importance on recruiting Indigenous mentors who are active members of the community and engaged in further study or employment and advocate for the need to support young Aboriginal students to aspire.

Becoming a mentor

Interested in becoming a mentor? View our current opportunities.

Hosting Outreach at your school

Are you interested in becoming a partner school?

If you would like to enquire about how your school could become involved with Outreach sessions, please contact us on info@aurorafoundation.com.au

Our stories