Education

The Aurora Project: The Aspiration Initiative

The Aspiration Initiative (TAI) increases opportunities and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students, by helping to ensure they realise their potential at school, university and beyond.

TAI academic enrichment program increases the flow of students through the pipeline from high school to university. TAI aims to generate a ripple effect of change extending to Australia’s education policy, so that policy shifts towards a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ high academic achievement.

After One Year

After one year of TAI’s academic enrichment program, all students remained in the program and transitioned from Year 8 to Year 9. TAI students were supported, challenged, extended and pushed out of their comfort zone through camp sessions and activities on essay writing, poetry, debating, identity, maths, science, moral dilemmas, economics, the history of activism, understanding power through language, gender and imperialism, study skills, visual arts and Aboriginal critical perspectives, to name a few.

 

After Two Years

TAI is promoting high expectations – since Year 8, students have been exposed to university lectures. In Year 9 they selected electives and designed their own camp timetable. As part of their Year 10 camp, NSW students went to University of Canberra. TAI students are responding well to TAI’s pedagogy – they are challenging themselves intellectually and socially, going beyond their comfort zone and are actively contributing to each camp’s curriculum.

In Their Own Words - Project Participants

I loved it! I always love coming to TAI camps to learn all sorts of new things and to hear others’ perspective and I have to say this conference has lived up to the expectations and even further.”

What I got out of the conference was you don’t go far if you can’t think for yourself. Having your own words and voice is the best way to teach yourself. What you can learn from a topic by doing your own research is more than you get from taking someone else’s words.

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