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More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will receive support to complete school and transition to further education and training as a result of the Coalition’s $5.75 million investment in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).

Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion and Minister for Education and Liberal Senator for South Australia, Simon Birmingham today announced the additional funding to support AIME expand its successful mentoring experience to 6000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and reach into new regions.

Senator Scullion, who was in Sydney today to attend an AIME workshop, said that $5 million would be provided to AIME to support 6000 more students to stay in school and complete their studies.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are responding positively to the AIME approach and we are seeing improved student retention and transition through school outcomes,” Senator Scullion said.

“Importantly, the AIME approach shows that when you have high expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, they are stepping up. The AIME programme demonstrates you can be proud of your culture and heritage as an Indigenous Australian, and be highly educated – these two concepts are complementary rather than competing.

“The Coalition is keen to partner with organisations like AIME to improve education outcomes and provide better opportunities for the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“AIME is an Indigenous-led, grassroots organisation that has grown into one of the country’s leading providers because of the innovation and passion of its founder, Jack Manning Bancroft, and dedicated staff.

Senator Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had also committed $750,000 for universities to work with AIME to expand into new regions across the country so they can help even more young Indigenous Australians achieve greater levels of education.

“AIME’s achievements are an example of the types of work the Turnbull Government is looking to support. In 2014, 93 per cent of AIME Year 12 students completed school, and in 2013 one in five transitioned into university,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This additional $750,000 worth of funding is a tangible, proven way the Turnbull Government will help to boost education outcomes for those Indigenous students who need it most, because we know that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and regional and rural areas are under-represented at university.

“It will help AIME to work with universities to expand their programmes into Whyalla and Mount Gambier in South Australia, northern New South Wales, western Sydney, regional Victoria and central Queensland.”

AIME is one of a number of successful organisations supported by the Coalition to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have the best possible opportunity to succeed at school, further education and training.

It is a not-for-profit and Indigenous-led organisation that delivers educational mentoring programmes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students between Year 9 and 12.

The $5 million grant has been funded from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

The $750,000 grant has been funded from the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme National Priorities Pool.

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