Open Letter to Universities around the World,
It’s not every day that an idea that can change the world comes across your desk. Today we wanted to share one we’ve kept secret in Australia for the last 12 years.
In our nation, those kids are the children of the first sunrise, our Indigenous young people. Many of us across the globe have population groups who have landed on the wrong side of history and experience dispossession and discrimination, which has manifested itself into what seems like an irreversible reality.
Twelve years ago, a small group of university students set about reversing the reality for our Indigenous kids, and creating a new story, a tale of Indigenous success, of educational equality.
Twenty-five students at University of Sydney walked into a local school and offered a structured mentoring program. These students, they were on their way after their degree into the middle or upper classes, but in that moment they built a bridge between them and the kids whose future was flying towards a path of poverty and inequality.
They built a bridge.
The kids on the other side started to follow their lead. They reversed the trends around school completion. At first as a group of 25, and then there was a hundred, and suddenly there were thousands that were dancing to a new beat of Indigenous success.
Now, 12 years on, this program has seen over 10,000 kids be ripped out of educational inequality, closing a percentage gap of over 35% in participation. For Indigenous kids aged 18-25 - 40% transition into Employment, University or Further training. Non-Indigenous kids in the same age bracket transition at 75%. AIME Year 12 graduates transition rates for the last three years, 2014 = 75%, 2015 = 75.8%, 2016 = 76%.
This is a simple solution whereby mentoring, with a scientific backbone of content and development that sits on top of the schooling system has manifested a new climate that can fast-track the alleviation of disadvantage.
As an aside, over 5,000 university students have volunteered to mentor over the last 12 years, the biggest volunteer movement of university students in Australian history. We believe this generation is desperate to take on the challenges ahead of them, and you know, like what we’ve seen here, the best place for that to start is the birthplace of ideas and world changing revolutionary thinking, universities.
On June 7, we join our friends at AIME to launch a competition across the globe to offer the chance for 10 young people to take the model potentially to your university and bring it to life in your country.
We want to give you the chance to be a part of an experiment that could prove that if university becomes a service hub where its students go back and mentor the most disadvantaged kids we could within 10 years rapidly close the existing inequality gaps across the globe.
If this interests you, AIME would love to talk to you and give you and your students the chance to be a part of this experience to change the globe.
The AIME model globally is not specifically about Indigenous kids. It’s about using the two key economic levers of university and high school and building a bridge between the powerful and powerless.
So, with one university at a time we create fairer communities and a rapidly more equal and just globe.
- Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO
- Dame Marie Bashir, AD, CVO
- Edith Cowan University Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) - Prof. Colleen Hayward
- Edith Cowan University Vice Chancellor & President - Prof. Steve Chapman
- Murdoch University Vice-Chancellor - Prof. Eeva Leinonen
- Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor - Prof. Adam Shoemaker
- University of Canberra Chancellor - Prof. Tom Calma AO
- University of Canberra Vice Chancellor - Prof. Deep Saini
- University of New England Vice-Chancellor - Prof. Annabelle Duncan
- University of Notre Dame Australia Vice-Chancellor - Prof. Celia Hammond
- University of South Australia Vice-Chancellor - Prof. David Lloyd
- University of Sydney Chancellor - Belinda Hutchinson AM
- University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor - Dr Michael Spence AC
- University of Wollongong Chancellor - Jillian Broadbent AO
- University of Wollongong Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) - Prof. Joe Chicharo
- Universities Australia Chair & Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor - Prof. Barney Glover
- CQUniversity Australia Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) - Prof. Bronwyn Fredericks
- Accenture, Managing Director Financial Services, Australia & NZ - Greg Carroll
- Accor Hotels CEO - Simon McGrath
- Allens Linklaters Managing Partner - Richard Spurio
- Allens Linklaters Partner - Chris Schulz
- Australian Charities Fund - Deputy Chair & Founding CEO - Greg Hutchinson, AM
- Baker & McKenzie Partner - Sean Duffy
- Coca Cola South Pacific President - Roberto Mercade
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO - Ian Narev
- Foxtel CEO - Peter Tonagh
- Insurance Australia Group CEO - Peter Harmer
- M & C Saatchi Worldwide Chairman & Australian founder - Tom Dery, AO
- Origin Foundation, Head of Foundation - Sean Barrett
- Princes Trust International CEO - Jonathan Townsend
- Staples Australia & NZ, Vice President - Michael Oakley Knight
- Virgin Australia CEO - John Borghetti, AO
- Wesfarmers CEO - Richard Goyder, AO