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Looking forward: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentees and their mentors celebrate at Ngutana Lui.

Looking forward: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentees and their mentors celebrate at Ngutana Lui.

A GROUP of Indigenous students aiming for a career in teaching are now closer to their goal.

Through Brisbane Catholic Education’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mentoring Program four mentees recently gathered at Ngutana Lui to celebrate 18 months of successful mentoring with their university studies.

The students and their mentors were from the first intake of the program BCE started in September 2013.

A second cohort of students and their mentors began the program in Semester 2, 2014.

Funded through the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions, the mentoring program offered Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a one-to-one relationship with an experienced teacher.

The aim is to increase the participation of young people in the teaching profession by supporting the successful transition from school to university.

The mentors act as role models to help keep the students focused on their vision and dreams through Year 12 and for a further 12 to 18 months of a Bachelor of Education degree.

As mentors they listen, ask questions, offer support, help find information, challenge ways of thinking and encourage self-belief in their mentees.

Hosted by Ngutana Lui, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies Centre, the gathering featured good food, feedback and wise words from special guests including mentors, elders, principals and senior BCE staff.

Indigenous education senior education officer Kevin Eastment said the celebration was well attended by the 2013 and 2014 students and their mentors and parents.

He said it was a wonderful opportunity to thank the program mentors, supporters and leadership at BCEO for the encouragement they had shown to the mentees.

“The students inspired us all with their enthusiasm, commitment and achievements,” Mr Eastment said.

“We look forward to celebrating further successes again in December 2015.”

On satisfactory completion of their degrees the students will be offered employment as a teacher in a BCE-run school for a minimum of two years.

Written by: Staff writers
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