Indigenous students get inspired at SCU AIME day
INDIGENOUS students were able to hear first-hand the road to fame from some of Australia's big indigenous success stories at a Southern Cross University event on Friday.
Canberra Raiders player Cleveland McGhie, Channel 9 political journalist Lauren Gianoli, Former NFL and Canadian football league player Tyler Smith and 2015 Young Environmentalist of the Year and former Lismore Trinity Catholic College student Amelia Telford were the special guest speakers.
The Windows to Fame session was part of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) which encourages Northern Rivers Year 9 to 12 indigenous high students to achieve greatness and aspire to the mantra "Indigenous Equals Success".
Ms Telford said she was excited about the opportunity to engage with local indigenous students.
"I am driven by the people and land of the Bundjalung nation every day in my work building the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network," she said.
"I can't wait to get home and meet with the next generation of young people who no doubt will continue leading the way for our people."
The Nine Network's Lauren Gianoli said she wanted to empower the students to follow their dreams. "I want to be able to encourage the students to do what they love - that's the secret to life," she said.
"I'm looking forward to having a chat about reporting on federal politics and hopefully inspire some students to think about journalism."
AIME mentees Alec Barker and Karri Williams of Evans River School, who started in the program three years ago as Year 9 students, have both been recently named school captains for 2016 after being appointed AIME Ambassadors in 2015.
"AIME has had a big impact on Alec," said his sister, Teela Barker who is an AIME presenter and SCU student.
"He's grown up, become a real leader and is making his people proud.
"I wish I had AIME when I was at school."
Pat Orme is AIME's program co-ordinator for the Lismore campus.
"The indigenous high school students are partnered with SCU student mentors," he said.
"This exposes mentees to higher education, allows conversations about university life to develop organically and results in more indigenous students enrolling at university."