Ashani Ponnamperuma was completely disengaged with Indigenous Australia and had never met an Indigenous person before joining AIME in 2010.
Over the course of two years, Ashani built up a strong mentoring relationship with an AIME mentee. She went above and beyond the requirements of her role by regularly attending the Reservoir High ALC (AIME Learning Centre) to assist her mentee academically.
Ashani has believed in and supported her mentee to have the confidence and conviction that she can complete year 12.
Ashani now has a deep and firsthand understanding of Indigenous Australia and, with the other like- minded Mentors, is helping AIME change this nation’s bleak statistics in Indigenous education.
AIME at RMIT – Mentors 4 Life
AIME is the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, a program that offers RMIT students the opportunity to build on their skills and experience and have fun doing it. AIME provides a dynamic educational program that gives Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers.
AIME was established by a 19-year-old Indigenous Sydney University Student in 2005. Jack Manning Bancroft grabbed 25 of his mates and went down to a local high school in Redfern. This group would never have imagined that nine years later there would be more than 1,000 Indigenous kids and 1,000 Uni students around the nation walking in their footsteps.
AIME’s proven results have led the program to spread to over 200 schools and 16 University sites across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. The RMIT AIME partnership is now in it’s 4th year and the program has been a great success so far.
From hip-hop to resume-writing, from public speaking to study skills and with plenty of laughs thrown in AIME sessions are high-energy and heaps of fun. You will get one of the famous AIME hoodies and all the training and support you need to get the most out of the mentoring experience. Plus, AIME is partnered up with Google, CommBank, Telstra, Virgin Australia, Lendlease and many other major corporates who are working with AIME to provide an awesome graduate development program for Mentors. The program also gets recorded on your academic transcript. For a minor time commitment (as little as 16 hours per year) the program will have a major impact on a Mentor’s leadership, communication and teamwork skills, supporting their long-term career development and professional networks
All RMIT Higher Ed and TAFE students are encouraged to apply to be Mentors. No skills or experience needed - you just need to be yourself.
Comments from past mentors:
“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done so far. Being able to grow with your mentee is priceless. You think at the beginning you’re only there to help them, until you realize how much you’ve grown too.”
"One of the best university experiences I've had..."
"You will learn more than you teach."
Want to get involved?
Head to AIME to apply or contact AIME’s Program Coordinator at RMIT, Addie Walsh, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also “like” AIME on facebook or watch this Australian Story episode to learn about AIME’s history.