CEO Report

From the CEO – Jack Manning Bancroft

There are moments, small moments, when we get the chance to see the wood for the trees.

Before we move on to speak of 2016, take a walk down memory lane with me to reflect on this journey, which has seen so many lives changed. Check out some of the impact highlights below from over the years.


The AIME program commenced with a Year 9 program for 25 mentees, 25 mentors, 1 partner school and 1 university partner. In this first year, there was a 40% attendance increase by Year 9 students for days when mentoring took place compared to the other school days (in the early years of AIME research was internally designed and undertaken).


The program grew to 47 mentees, 47 mentors, 2 partner schools and 1 university partner.

  • AIME introduced a new Year 10 program, which based on post-program feedback, had a positive impact on the mentees self-belief and self-esteem.


The program grew to 100 mentees, 100 mentors, 5 partner schools and 1 university partner.

  • AIME launched its first ever after school homework centre and Year 11 & 12 tutoring program.
  • 100% of mentees believed that AIME was preparing them better for life after school (based on post-program feedback)


The program grew to 300 mentees, 300 mentors, 18 partner schools and 2 university partners.

  • AIME launched its first ever workbook.
  • 100% of mentees who were not going to finish Year 12 changed their minds and wanted to finish Year 12 after they participated in AIME (based on post-program feedback).


The program grew to 325 mentees, 500 mentors, 33 partner schools and 4 university partners.

  • 2 mentees from the AIME Sydney program became the first ever Aboriginal school captains of their schools.
  • 73% of AIME mentees completed Year 12 and 38% transitioned into university.


AIME grew to 529 mentees, 529 mentors, 44 partner schools and 7 university partners.

Pre and post-program surveys were given to all the mentees and the results showed that mentees were more likely to aspire to finish Year 10, Year 12 and go to university after participation in the program.

  • 100% of Year 12 mentees achieve Year 12 attainment.


AIME grew to 787 mentees, 787 mentors, 75 partner schools and 10 university partners.

  • AIME progression rates were significantly higher than the national Indigenous progression rates across every year level.
  • A new Year 11&12 Leadership and Development Program was piloted.
  • A new outreach model was piloted.
  • 36% of Year 12 mentees transition into university.


AIME grew to 1417 mentees, 956 mentors, 121 partner schools and 9 university partners.

  • The Year 9 to 12 completion rate for AIME mentees was 71.2%, exceeding the national Indigenous average of 38% and approaching the national non-Indigenous average of 79.9%.
  • AIME commenced a research partnership with the University of Wollongong (named the AIME Research Partnership) which is committed to working to try and better understand how and why the AIME program works in order to improve educational engagement and outcomes for Indigenous young people.
  • AIME commissioned an independent evaluation through a research team at the University of Wollongong to investigate the achievements and impacts of the program and identify what it would take to replicate and expand the Outreach program across other university sites nationally.


AIME grew to 1910 mentees, 1066 mentors, 241 partner schools and 14 university partners.

  • The results of the independent evaluation that commenced in 2012 indicated that the AIME Outreach Program was achieving positive results for participants (mentees) that were comparable with the Core Program. The evaluation also found that AIME positively impacted:
  • The strength and resilience of mentees;
  • Mentee pride in being Indigenous;
  • Mentees making strong connections with Indigenous peers, role models and culture;
  • Aspirations and engagement for finishing school; and
  • Aspirations for continuing to further study.

The AIME Research Partnership, through Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) funding, commenced a 3-year research project to identify, describe and explain the AIME model of mentoring and its impact on university student mentors and Indigenous young people (the Partnership Project).

AIME commissioned KPMG to undertake an economic evaluation of the program with the primary purpose of assessing the value-for-money of AIME. The economic evaluation quantified the benefits relating to education (the potential total lifetime earnings of the AIME mentee population in 2012, compared to potential total lifetime earnings of a similarly sized group of Indigenous students around the country). Findings included:

  • AIME mentees performed better than Indigenous students around the country and reached levels of school performance close to their non-Indigenous peers.
  • Due to the mentoring benefits received, AIME mentees are likely to be more employable and earn more.
  • An AIME mentee that completes a university degree can be expected to earn up to $332,000 more over their lifetime compared to an Indigenous student that does not complete high school.
  • The AIME program generates $7 in benefits for every $1 of cost.

The AIME Research Partnership was successful in winning funding for an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project: Mentoring and Indigenous Higher Education: Understanding how university students mentor Indigenous school students (DP140103690).

The AIME Research Partnership published its first book chapter, first academic journal article and delivered its first conference presentation.


AIME grew to 3773 mentees, 1526 mentors, 313 partner schools and 16 university partners.

The AIME Partnership Project continued with:

  • 150 AIME session observations at 15 different university campuses across Australia;
  • 618 matched mentee pre and post program surveys;
  • 143 mentee interviews; and
  • Group discussions or interviews with 115 mentors.

The AIME Research Partnership published 2 more academic book chapters.

AIME was cited in major publications as an example of best practice:

  • Cited as ‘things that work’ (best practice) in the Productivity Commission Report: Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, Key Indicators 2014;
  • Cited as ‘what works’ on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website;
  • Cited as best practice in ‘Can’t be what you can’t see’: The transition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into higher education Final Report 2014.

93.2% of our Year 12 mentees satisfied the requirements of Year 12 attainment in their relevant state or territory. This was 6.7% higher than the national non-Indigenous Year 12 attainment rate and 34.7% higher than the national Indigenous rate.


AIME grew to 4864 mentees, 1923 mentors, 325 partner schools and 18 university partners.

The AIME Research Partnership continued to investigate the impact of the program on the mentees but shifted the research focus to the impact of AIME on the mentors. From extensive interviews, observations and surveys we found that:

  • Mentors are reporting significant learning experiences derived from participation in AIME;
  • Many mentors told us they feel like they are learning as much or more than the mentees;
  • Mentors are developing knowledge and appreciation of Indigenous culture as well as growing awareness of social injustices experienced by Indigenous Australians;
  • Mentors are describing an increased capacity and motivation for volunteering;
  • Mentors have described that they are focussing their volunteering efforts to specifically benefit Indigenous young people;
  • 90% of mentor survey respondents reported that participation in AIME has enhanced their university experience;
  • 84% of mentor respondents reported that AIME has enhanced the way they connect and serve the wider community;
  • On average, mentor survey respondents reported growth in:
    • Their knowledge of Indigenous Australian cultures
    • Their connection to Indigenous Australia
    • Their cultural and social awareness
    • Their leadership skills
    • Their communication skills
    • Their teamwork skills
    • Their creativity

The AIME Research Partnership published 3 more academic journal articles, published in The Conversation and delivered 3 more conference presentations.


AIME grew to 6686 mentees, 2255 mentors, 340 partner schools and 18 university partners.

The 3-year Partnership Project was finalised and the results showed that AIME can produce good and relevant numbers that can assist policy and practice to drive towards better and brighter futures for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. We found that AIME positively impacts mentees:

  • The AIME program creates relationships and a culturally safe spaces that support mentees’ engagement in the program;
  • AIME is effective in increasing mentees’ academic self-perceptions and motivation;
  • An increased amount of time spent within the AIME program significantly increased the mentees’ sense of self-esteem, school confidence and cultural confidence at school;
  • Mentees value not only how AIME promotes stronger study habits and aspirations, but also helps students value themselves and their culture within the learning environment;

The AIME Research Partnership published another academic journal article and delivered another 6 conference presentations.

The AIME Research Partnership created a central repository of all AIME Research Partnership publications in the website: All publications are listed under the publications tab, with links to full-text for most items listed.

On September 1, 2016, looking over the Hudson River in New York, we shared our story of AIME. Of kids rising, of university students desperate to see the tide of inequality cease, of a small group of committed citizens bringing to life Margaret Mead's adage of changing the world.

More than ever, I saw the heart of what we offer. Mentors for a fairer world. People helping people.

Luck and the science behind our model has lead to AIME’s impact and why we've been able to reach 1000s so far. As I watched people of all colours and creeds don the AIME hoodie and dance with us on that night in September, I saw our future. One where we rose to the biggest possible challenges, with confidence in the truth behind our work - human kindness.

2016 was a year where you challenged us – the kids, mentors and our team – to rise. And 2017 will be the year we bring about an AIME with that same pigheadedly hopeful and bashful energy of 2005 and with more gusto than ever, at home and around the world.

We've grown from the ground up and on the streets we will remain, with our burning desire to fight for equality.

I'll leave you with a thank you to those whose time on the AIME train has come to a close: Geoff Lovell our Chair since 2009, Jess Timmins helped lead the operations of the program and gave AIME everything she had, Adam Linforth built strong lasting partnerships and financial rigour, and Marlee Silva, our inaugural Co-CEO was brave enough to lead and taught us so much in the first year of that program.

We are people that care, people that try. We want to keep pushing the limits of human imagination and potential.

Our vision is to end inequality through education, born from the oldest continuous surviving culture in the word. We are a dream factory for those who haven’t had the chance to dream. To change the world, we have to change the way it works.

We build strong bridges between universities and schools – etched with the DNA of human connection. Our structure is scientific and scalable with years of proof that our dreams create a reality that ends inequality.

We are relentlessly positive and our message unlocks the magic of learning through story. We believe someone, somewhere, engineered the world to be the way it is today. We believe we can engineer the way it is tomorrow.

We are mentors for a fairer world.

One by one, we'll get it done.

Chairperson Report

From the Chairman – Geoff Lovell

2016 was another year of transformational education and wonderful outcomes for the Indigenous kids participating in AIME across our nation. It was also a year of exploring new evolutionary pathways for the AIME model.

It was also my last full year as Chair and, after eight years in the role it is remarkable to look back to see how far AIME has come in that time.

In 2009 there were 500 mentors, in 2016 there were 1571. The number of university partners has increased from 4 to 18. The number of high schools with which AIME works has jumped remarkably from 30 to 340. And the in-kind support provided to AIME by so many willing individuals and corporations has grown from $1.2 million to $6.4 million. Such is the enthusiasm with which AIME has been embraced by so many around Australia.

This has largely been possible because the Indigenous kids participating in AIME’s program have continued to seize the opportunity to embrace education as a pathway to success. And haven’t they done that so well. In 2016, progression rates were well above 90% at the end of each year of schooling: 99.9% for Year 7, 99.8% for Year 8, 99.6% for Year 9, 96.2% for Year 10, 92.9% for Year 11 and 94.1% for Year 12. With these types of outcomes, anything is possible!

Of course, thankfully, some things have remained similar since 2009.

  • We remain indebted to our young and vibrant staff, who have such a strong desire to learn and make a difference.
  • Our mentors, those university students stepping outside their comfort zones to help those in need on a voluntary basis, continue to be the foot soldiers of AIME. They too are having their own lives transformed.
  • Our university partners are still making AIME’s work possible through their provision of vital financial support and infrastructure.
  • Our high school partners continue to allow us to come alongside them to help Indigenous kids.
  • And KPMG faithfully continues to provide invaluable audit and other services at no cost to AIME.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to AIME in 2016. In addition to those mentioned above, so many have donated money, provided facilities, offered advice, provided transport, and so much more. All of this is crucial and flows through for the benefit of those in the classrooms and on the stages of AIME.

As we continue to strive to make life-changing differences to Indigenous kids, and now also reach beyond Australia, may I encourage you all to embolden your support for AIME.

And I would like to wish my successor, Tom Dery, the very best as he steers the Board with fresh eyes and great enthusiasm.

From the Incoming Chairman – Tom Dery

I am very pleased and humbled to take the position of Chairman of AIME.

I’m looking forward to a very exciting period in front of us, based on the remarkable success and achievements attained under Geoff Lovell’s guidance. I’m looking forward to seeing the scale the AIME operation extends and in so doing not only for the benefit of more education opportunities for Indigenous kids, but also our mentors and our team at AIME.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the outstanding performance and commitment of Geoff Lovell, on behalf of the whole organization, we say thank you.

In 2016, 6686 kids were engaged in the program, that's 1668 more kids than in 2015 and we still had really strong results:

  • 99.9%

    Year 7-8 progression rate

  • 99.8%

    Year 8-9 progression rate

  • 99.6%

    Year 9-10 progression rate

  • 96.2%

    Year 10-11 progression rate

  • 92.9%

    Year 11-12 progression rate

  • 94.1%

    Year 12 attainment (highest yet)

Of the 603 Year 12 graduates, 73% transitioned into positive post-school pathways:

  • 160

    160 transitioned to university pathways

  • 157

    157 transitioned to further education & training pathways

  • 125

    125 transitioned to employment pathways

  • 76

    76 students are still deciding and applying for further education, training and employment pathways

  • 85

    85 unable to contact

In 2016 we partnered with 18 universities and 2255 of their students participated as mentors in the program (1,571 were engaged). Together they volunteered 44,714 hours. We ran 928 AIME Institute days at university campuses, which equates to 2659 sessions. 340 schools participated in AIME and we ran 1513 Tutor Squad sessions within these schools across the year, providing additional academic and mentor support to AIME kids.

Some amazing things have been taking place at our university sites around the country.

  • USYD

    The University of Sydney

    Every single mentee engaged in the program at USYD transitioned into their next year of schooling and every single Year 12 mentee completed Year 12! (408/408) And, 100% of the 34 Year 12 graduates transitioned into positive pathways! 14 mentees transitioned into university pathways, 14 to further education and training pathways and 6 to employment pathways.

  • UOW

    University of Wollongong

    29 mentees from the AIME UOW programs transitioned into university pathways and commenced their higher education studies in 2017 (that's 39% of the UOW Year 12 graduates).

  • SCU

    Southern Cross University

    More than 850 mentees were engaged in the program across the 3 SCU campuses. With their biggest cohort of Year 12 mentees yet, 98.5% completed Year 12 (67/68). 12 mentees from the SCU AIME program transitioned to university pathways in 2017!

  • Bond

    Bond University

    More mentees were participating in AIME at Bond University across all year levels compared to 2015. One mentee who started attending AIME in Year 9, never missed an AIME day and regularly attended her local Tutor Squad. In her senior years, she began working with our team based at Bond University on a post-school pathway into studying Law. Following her interviews, she was offered a full scholarship, has commenced her studies in Law and has been selected as an AIME Mentor for 2017.

  • USC

    University of the Sunshine Coast

    The most popular post-school pathway for the Year 12 USC mentees was a university pathway with 12 mentees commencing their studies in 2017. One mentee who has been an exemplary leader from day one at AIME is now studying a double degree in Nursing and Paramedics.

  • CQUni


    Mentee numbers increased significantly in 2016 with more than 650 mentees engaged in the program. Year 12 numbers continued to rise and in 2016 every single Year 12 mentee across the 3 CQUni sites completed Year 12 (68/68). One of these mentees who has been in the program since Year 10 has now graduated and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Medical Science at CQUniversity, Rockhampton and is an AIME mentor in 2017.

  • Curtin

    Curtin University

    One mentee who graduated AIME in 2015, spent 2016 doing a bridging course at Curtin University as well as being an AIME mentor. She was a constant visitor to the AIME office and built great relationships with the staff and mentees. In 2017 she is a full time Curtin University student and has commenced her Sports Science degree.

  • ECU

    Edith Cowan University

    More than 250 mentees were engaged in the program across the 3 ECU campuses. One mentee who started AIME in Year 10 has been accepted into the WA Police Aboriginal Cadet Program where only a small handful of candidates were selected. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and grandfather who were both police officers and show this pathway to other young Indigenous people.

  • FedUni

    Federation University Australia

    More than 200 mentees were engaged in the program across the 2 Federation Uni campuses. In 2016 100% of the Year 12 mentees completed The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). One Year 12 mentee who was a great leader throughout her journey with AIME and at school has been accepted into university but has decided to defer her commencement until 2018 and has landed a job within the AIME Ballarat team with the aim of helping more mentees complete their secondary schooling education.

  • Murdoch University

    Murdoch University

    98% of the mentees engaged in the Murdoch University AIME program transitioned to their next grade of school in 2017. One mentee who has been in the AIME program since 2013 and completed Year 12 in 2016, has commenced her university journey in the K-Track enabling program at Murdoch in 2017. She is a confident, articulate young lady who is going to make some serious changes in her local community.

  • University of South Australia

    University of South Australia

    One mentee undertook Year 12 in 2015 but didn't achieve his Year 12 certificate as he was facing some pretty big challenges. In 2016 he made the decision to repeat the year and became the first person in his family to complete Year 12. He has now transitioned into university and is completing Foundation Studies at UniSA with the intention of transferring to an Engineering degree.

  • Griffith University

    Griffith University

    With their biggest cohort of Year 12 mentees yet, 100% of the 101 Year 12s finished Year 12, with around a quarter of these transitioning into a university pathway in 2017 (24/101). One Year 12 mentee who has been part of AIME since she was in Year 9 became School Captain of her school in 2016 and has commenced studying nursing at Griffith University and has become an AIME mentor in 2017.

  • The University of Notre Dame

    The University of Notre Dame

    One mentee who has been participating in the AIME Notre Dame program for the past few years is currently completing a bridging course to become a nurse. She moved to Perth, away from all her mob in Kalgoorlie, to pursue her higher education and is living in a boarding house with other students. She visits the AIME office almost every day and while she is extremely committed to working hard at her studies, she has also signed up to be an AIME mentor in 2017!

  • Australian National University & University of Canberra

    Australian National University & University of Canberra

    A Year 9 ACT mentee was one of 18 mentees from across the country who were selected to travel to Sydney and develop a video game that will inspire young minds to pursue pathways in science, maths, engineering, technology and innovation. The students were mentored throughout the week by best game designers and computer engineers in the business, and visited leading tech companies in Sydney.

  • Australian Defence Force Academy

    Australian Defence Force Academy

    One mentee who started attending AIME in 2014 formed an excellent mentee/mentor relationship with his mentor throughout the program days. When he transitioned into Senior College, he continued to regularly attend AIME tutor squads and kept the relationship he had with his mentor throughout these sessions. During the ADFA program day, he was really interested in applying for ADFA and spent the time talking to the cadets with his mentor. He has now been successful in his application into ADFA.

  • Western Sydney University

    Western Sydney University

    Year 12 mentee numbers tripled at WSU in 2016 and every single mentee completed Year 12! (64/64) On top of that 48% went to uni! One of these graduates attended every single AIME session in her 4 years of AIME. She spoke beautifully at her AIME Year 12 graduation, is now studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at Western Sydney University, is also an Aboriginal Education Officer (AEO) at her old school and an AIME mentor in 2017.

  • University of New England

    University of New England

    In its first year of operation 100% of mentees transitioned to the next grade of school.

  • Deakin University

    Deakin University

    In its first year of operation 98% of mentees transitioned to their next grade of school and all of the mentees that completed Year 12 transitioned into a positive post-school pathway of either university, further education & training or employment.

It was another year of transformational education and wonderful outcomes for the Indigenous kids participating in AIME across our nation. It was also a year of exploring new evolutionary pathways for the AIME model. Here are some other highlights...

  • First Co-CEO - Marlee Silva

    First Co-CEO

    In 2016 Marlee Silva led the way by taking up a leadership development opportunity like no other, to become our inaugural Co-CEO. The next decade will see 9 more 18-25 year old Indigenous Australians participate in this challenging, transformational 12-month program.

  • UNE Armidale joins the family

    UNE Armidale joins the family

    We held our first program day on campus at UNE Armidale in 2016. The 116 kids who participated in the program achieved amazing educational outcomes this year with 100% progression rates across all years from 7 to 11.

  • Branson in a AIME Hoodie

    Branson in a Hoodie

    We celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians during NAIDOC Week and also reflected on how far we’ve come on Hoodie Day. Richard Branson pulled on his 2016 AIME hoodie in support of the work we do.

  • Game On Workshop at Google

    Game On Workshop at Google

    AIME and Google partnered in a history first, when 18 Indigenous kids competed to see their maths and science video game concepts come to life, to inspire the next generation of Indigenous scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

  • First year with jjj Hottest 100

    First year with jjj Hottest 100

    For our new partnership with triple j, one of our year 10 mentees created the artwork for the Hottest 100 t-shirt. 100% of proceeds came directly to AIME. Listeners also donated over $100,000 to AIME as the Hottest 100 counted down.

  • 12th Best Workplace to work in Asia

    12th Best Workplace to work in Asia

    At number 12 on the list AIME is one of a small group of organisations that put their people first; providing a strong, caring, innovative culture for employees that is distinguished by extraordinary levels of pride and camaraderie.

  • Youngest person in Australian History to get Hon Doc

    Youngest person in Australian History to get Hon Doc

    Jack Manning Bancroft made history as Australia’s youngest recipient of an Honorary Doctorate. Breaking with tradition UniSA made the award in recognition of Jack’s work improving educational outcomes for Indigenous high school kids.

  • AIME Global announced from New York

    AIME Global announced from New York

    After 12 years working with Indigenous kids in Australia, our CEO announced at an AIME event in New York that we would soon be sharing our DNA with the world, to ensure educational equality for marginalized students everywhere. In Jack’s words, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

KPMG once again audited AIME’s accounts. Headline is, we got enough cash in to be able to deliver the program to more kids than ever before. Second headline is that over $6 Million worth of in-kind support was generated throughout 2016 - we are very proud of this. Click through below for the deets.

As we get set to charge the program around the globe we wanted to take you back in time to our 2010 Film, nice to see how much it’s coming to life.

Thank you family.

Keep walking with us,

The AIME Team