For the past 6 years, Souths Cares has been running a school to work mentoring program for Aboriginal high school students called ‘Nanga Mai Marri’. The phrase Nanga Mai Marri translates to ‘Dream Big’ in the traditional Aboriginal language of the Gadigal people.
The program is about supporting Aboriginal high school students to Dream Big, achieve their High School Certificate and then successfully transition to employment or tertiary education after leaving school.
We aim to address two key areas of inequality in Australia for Aboriginal young people:
- Across Australia, only 62% of Aboriginal students achieve their High School Certificate compared to 86% of non-Aboriginal students.
- Unemployment rates for Aboriginal youth are more than double the unemployment rates for non-Aboriginal youth.
The Nanga Mai Marri Program has achieved some fantastic results within Aboriginal education and employment, including:
- Last year our students achieved a 95% success rate for obtaining their HSC.
- Our 2016 school leavers achieved an 89% success rate for successfully transitioning to employment and/or tertiary education within 6 months after leaving school.
Contributions to the Nanga Mai Marri program help us provide students with resources to achieve their education and employment goals. These items include:
- Short training courses to help up-skill our students for employment.
- Leadership Camps to help students connect with culture, develop teamwork and develop their leadership capabilities.
- Practical resources to help our young people transition into the workplace- e.g. workboots, uniforms, corporate clothes.