AIME: Swapping work desks for school desks

The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Program (AIME) partners Indigenous high school students with Indigenous and non-Indigenous university mentors. By 2018, its goal is to mentor 10,000 Indigenous students and, with 4500 students taking part to date, it is well on its way.

IAG is proud to be working with AIME to achieve its target. Our three-year partnership with AIME began in 2014 as part of our first RAP. Since then, we have focussed on helping AIME to expand its Western Sydney program.

IAG people also participate in a one-day mentoring session where they mentor year 11 students, working with them to set goals and map how they could be achieved.

Having students mentored by corporate sector employees provides a diversity of perspectives that AIME CEO, Jack Manning-Bancroft, believes is crucial. “We want our high school students to get insight from a range of people,” he says. “Everyone has their own fantastic story to tell.”

The young entrepreneur founded AIME in 2005 after he received an invaluable opportunity – an Indigenous scholarship to Sydney University. This experience left him with the urge to “do something big”.

IAG’s partnership with AIME fits into one of our four key focus areas: building career and education pathways.

“It’s not just the financial investment, which is obviously awesome,” says Jack of the partnership. “IAG’s involvement also means we can engage with thousands more to spread the word that ‘Indigenous = Success’.”

The respect is mutual. Dieter Organsoy from IAG’s digital project delivery team was inspired by AIME’s work. “The organisation really appealed to me,” he says. “They are really making a difference and if you look at the stories on their website, you see that.

“Some of the Indigenous kids AIME works with don’t have the same opportunities others do, and I believe in breaking down barriers. IAG is building resilience in the community and this is a way of doing that inclusively.”

Mentor & Mentee 2013

To mark NAIDOC week in 2015, Dieter pitched in to bolster IAG’s support of National Hoodie Day, AIME’s major annual fundraiser. He spread awareness of AIME’s work and encouraged employees to buy a hoodie . “I’m proud the company I work for is partnering up with organisations like AIME – a unique, young and vibrant organisation.”

While mentoring continues to make a lasting difference, a cold winter also provided plenty of opportunities for employees to show their support for AIME beyond the National Hoodie Day. “We wore them every day!” says Dieter.

IAG will continue to be a National Partner with AIME to assist them in achieving their goal of mentoring 10,000 students by 2018.