Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)

AIME is an educational program that aims to improve the chances of Indigenous children finishing school.

AIME partners university student volunteers in one-on-one mentoring with a high school Indigenous student. The aim of the program is to give Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers.

AIME was established by a 19-year-old Indigenous Sydney University student in 2005. Jack Manning Bancroft grabbed 25 of his mates and went down to a local high school in Redfern. This group would never have imagined that nine years later there would be more than 1,000 Indigenous kids and 1,000 uni students around the nation walking in their footsteps.

AIME’s proven results have led the program to spread to over 200 schools and 16 university sites across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. The RMIT AIME partnership is now in its fourth year and the program has been a great success.

From hip-hop to resume-writing, from public speaking to study skills AIME sessions are filled with laughs, energy and fun. You will get one of the famous AIME hoodies and all the training and support you need to get the most out of the mentoring experience. AIME has also partnered up with Google, CommBank, Telstra, Virgin Australia, Lendlease and many other major corporates to provide an awesome graduate development program for AIME mentors. The program also gets recorded on your academic transcript. For a minor time commitment (as little as 16 hours per year) the program will have a major impact on a mentor’s leadership, communication and teamwork skills, supporting their long-term career development and professional networks.

All RMIT Higher Education and TAFE students are encouraged to apply to be AIME mentors. No skills or experience needed - you just need to be yourself.

Ashani’s story

Ashani Ponnamperuma was completely disengaged with Indigenous Australia and had never met an Indigenous person before joining AIME in 2010.

Over the course of two years, Ashani built up a strong mentoring relationship with an AIME mentee. She went above and beyond the requirements of her role by regularly attending the Reservoir High ALC (AIME Learning Centre) to assist her mentee academically.

Ashani has believed in and supported her mentee to have the confidence and conviction that she can complete Year 12.

Ashani now has a deep and firsthand understanding of Indigenous Australia and, with the other like minded mentors, is helping AIME change this nation’s bleak statistics in Indigenous education.

Comments from past mentors:

“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done so far. Being able to grow with your mentee is priceless. You think at the beginning you’re only there to help them, until you realize how much you’ve grown too.” 

"One of the best university experiences I've had..." 

"You will learn more than you teach." 

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