About the Program

You cannot be what you cannot see. Aurora’s new Outreach Program connects role models to students so they can see what is possible.

The Outreach Program connects high school students with high-achieving Indigenous role models. By sharing their journey, these role models provide insights about university life, career pathways and lessons they learned along the way.

Although there are many successful sporting role model programs for Indigenous students, Aurora’s Outreach program is different in that it highlights academic and professional career pathways. The Program’s role models include graduates from the world’s leading universities including Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford. The Program inspires and raises aspirations of Indigenous high school students to ‘dream big’ and, importantly, think beyond stereotypes and limitations.

The Stories

Lindsay Christian, MPhil in Epidemiology, Cambridge University – Aurora Outreach role model
“My parents and many other family members didn’t finish high school, let alone go on to university. I know this fact is true for many other Indigenous kids. That means academic role models are often just not there for us. Aurora’s Outreach program gives students an insight into uni life from an Indigenous perspective that students may never have had before. It’s a powerful thing. In the long term, more of this is going to normalise the idea of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going further with their education.”

Heath, Year 10 student – Aurora Outreach participant
“I could really relate to the role models. They’ve had similar experiences to me and have gone on to great things in life. It was inspiring to hear their stories.”

Daisy, Year 10 student – Aurora Outreach participant
“I really want to understand outer space so maybe I will become an aeronautical scientist.”

 

The Statistics

100%
of teachers reported that students were better informed about post-school pathways
100%
of teachers would like to see Outreach role models return to their schools
91%
of students reported that they found the sessions valuable

The Goal

It can take years of counter-messaging, support and reinforcement for most Indigenous students to believe they have a place in academic excellence. Therefore, the Outreach Program supports students from Year 10 to Year 12 with targeted ‘touch points’. The ‘touch points’ are a mixture of workplace visits and school-based workshops. Research has shown that as few as four of these ‘touch points’ can make a student five times more likely to pursue further education.

Furthermore, evidence shows that young Indigenous people strongly identify with Indigenous role models who have shared experiences. While the Program’s role models have achieved great success in higher education and in their careers, many of them struggled through high school. As a result of this shared connection, students are more likely to believe that they too can achieve academically and professionally.