There are moments, small moments, when we get the chance to see the wood for the trees.
Before we move on to speak of 2016, take a walk down memory lane with me to reflect on this journey, which has seen so many lives changed. Check out some of the impact highlights below from over the years.
On September 1, 2016, looking over the Hudson River in New York, we shared our story of AIME. Of kids rising, of university students desperate to see the tide of inequality cease, of a small group of committed citizens bringing to life Margaret Mead's adage of changing the world.
More than ever, I saw the heart of what we offer. Mentors for a fairer world. People helping people.
Luck and the science behind our model has lead to AIME’s impact and why we've been able to reach 1000s so far. As I watched people of all colours and creeds don the AIME hoodie and dance with us on that night in September, I saw our future. One where we rose to the biggest possible challenges, with confidence in the truth behind our work - human kindness.
2016 was a year where you challenged us – the kids, mentors and our team – to rise. And 2017 will be the year we bring about an AIME with that same pigheadedly hopeful and bashful energy of 2005 and with more gusto than ever, at home and around the world.
We've grown from the ground up and on the streets we will remain, with our burning desire to fight for equality.
I'll leave you with a thank you to those whose time on the AIME train has come to a close: Geoff Lovell our Chair since 2009, Jess Timmins helped lead the operations of the program and gave AIME everything she had, Adam Linforth built strong lasting partnerships and financial rigour, and Marlee Silva, our inaugural Co-CEO was brave enough to lead and taught us so much in the first year of that program.
We are people that care, people that try. We want to keep pushing the limits of human imagination and potential.
Our vision is to end inequality through education, born from the oldest continuous surviving culture in the word. We are a dream factory for those who haven’t had the chance to dream. To change the world, we have to change the way it works.
We build strong bridges between universities and schools – etched with the DNA of human connection. Our structure is scientific and scalable with years of proof that our dreams create a reality that ends inequality.
We are relentlessly positive and our message unlocks the magic of learning through story. We believe someone, somewhere, engineered the world to be the way it is today. We believe we can engineer the way it is tomorrow.
We are mentors for a fairer world.
One by one, we'll get it done.
From the Chairman – Geoff Lovell
2016 was another year of transformational education and wonderful outcomes for the Indigenous kids participating in AIME across our nation. It was also a year of exploring new evolutionary pathways for the AIME model.
It was also my last full year as Chair and, after eight years in the role it is remarkable to look back to see how far AIME has come in that time.
In 2009 there were 500 mentors, in 2016 there were 1571. The number of university partners has increased from 4 to 18. The number of high schools with which AIME works has jumped remarkably from 30 to 340. And the in-kind support provided to AIME by so many willing individuals and corporations has grown from $1.2 million to $6.4 million. Such is the enthusiasm with which AIME has been embraced by so many around Australia.
This has largely been possible because the Indigenous kids participating in AIME’s program have continued to seize the opportunity to embrace education as a pathway to success. And haven’t they done that so well. In 2016, progression rates were well above 90% at the end of each year of schooling: 99.9% for Year 7, 99.8% for Year 8, 99.6% for Year 9, 96.2% for Year 10, 92.9% for Year 11 and 94.1% for Year 12. With these types of outcomes, anything is possible!
Of course, thankfully, some things have remained similar since 2009.
- We remain indebted to our young and vibrant staff, who have such a strong desire to learn and make a difference.
- Our mentors, those university students stepping outside their comfort zones to help those in need on a voluntary basis, continue to be the foot soldiers of AIME. They too are having their own lives transformed.
- Our university partners are still making AIME’s work possible through their provision of vital financial support and infrastructure.
- Our high school partners continue to allow us to come alongside them to help Indigenous kids.
- And KPMG faithfully continues to provide invaluable audit and other services at no cost to AIME.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to AIME in 2016. In addition to those mentioned above, so many have donated money, provided facilities, offered advice, provided transport, and so much more. All of this is crucial and flows through for the benefit of those in the classrooms and on the stages of AIME.
As we continue to strive to make life-changing differences to Indigenous kids, and now also reach beyond Australia, may I encourage you all to embolden your support for AIME.
And I would like to wish my successor, Tom Dery, the very best as he steers the Board with fresh eyes and great enthusiasm.
From the Incoming Chairman – Tom Dery
I am very pleased and humbled to take the position of Chairman of AIME.
I’m looking forward to a very exciting period in front of us, based on the remarkable success and achievements attained under Geoff Lovell’s guidance. I’m looking forward to seeing the scale the AIME operation extends and in so doing not only for the benefit of more education opportunities for Indigenous kids, but also our mentors and our team at AIME.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the outstanding performance and commitment of Geoff Lovell, on behalf of the whole organization, we say thank you.
In 2016, 6686 kids were engaged in the program, that's 1668 more kids than in 2015 and we still had really strong results:
Year 12 attainment (highest yet)
Of the 603 Year 12 graduates, 73% transitioned into positive post-school pathways:
Further Education & Training
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In 2016 we partnered with 18 universities and 2255 of their students participated as mentors in the program (1,571 were engaged). Together they volunteered 44,714 hours. We ran 928 AIME Institute days at university campuses, which equates to 2659 sessions. 340 schools participated in AIME and we ran 1513 Tutor Squad sessions within these schools across the year, providing additional academic and mentor support to AIME kids.
Some amazing things have been taking place at our university sites around the country.
The University of Sydney
Every single mentee engaged in the program at USYD transitioned into their next year of schooling and every single Year 12 mentee completed Year 12! (408/408) And, 100% of the 34 Year 12 graduates transitioned into positive pathways! 14 mentees transitioned into university pathways, 14 to further education and training pathways and 6 to employment pathways.
University of Wollongong
29 mentees from the AIME UOW programs transitioned into university pathways and commenced their higher education studies in 2017 (that's 39% of the UOW Year 12 graduates).
Southern Cross University
More than 850 mentees were engaged in the program across the 3 SCU campuses. With their biggest cohort of Year 12 mentees yet, 98.5% completed Year 12 (67/68). 12 mentees from the SCU AIME program transitioned to university pathways in 2017!
More mentees were participating in AIME at Bond University across all year levels compared to 2015. One mentee who started attending AIME in Year 9, never missed an AIME day and regularly attended her local Tutor Squad. In her senior years, she began working with our team based at Bond University on a post-school pathway into studying Law. Following her interviews, she was offered a full scholarship, has commenced her studies in Law and has been selected as an AIME Mentor for 2017.
University of the Sunshine Coast
The most popular post-school pathway for the Year 12 USC mentees was a university pathway with 12 mentees commencing their studies in 2017. One mentee who has been an exemplary leader from day one at AIME is now studying a double degree in Nursing and Paramedics.
Mentee numbers increased significantly in 2016 with more than 650 mentees engaged in the program. Year 12 numbers continued to rise and in 2016 every single Year 12 mentee across the 3 CQUni sites completed Year 12 (68/68). One of these mentees who has been in the program since Year 10 has now graduated and is enrolled in a Bachelor of Medical Science at CQUniversity, Rockhampton and is an AIME mentor in 2017.
One mentee who graduated AIME in 2015, spent 2016 doing a bridging course at Curtin University as well as being an AIME mentor. She was a constant visitor to the AIME office and built great relationships with the staff and mentees. In 2017 she is a full time Curtin University student and has commenced her Sports Science degree.
Edith Cowan University
More than 250 mentees were engaged in the program across the 3 ECU campuses. One mentee who started AIME in Year 10 has been accepted into the WA Police Aboriginal Cadet Program where only a small handful of candidates were selected. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and grandfather who were both police officers and show this pathway to other young Indigenous people.
Federation University Australia
More than 200 mentees were engaged in the program across the 2 Federation Uni campuses. In 2016 100% of the Year 12 mentees completed The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). One Year 12 mentee who was a great leader throughout her journey with AIME and at school has been accepted into university but has decided to defer her commencement until 2018 and has landed a job within the AIME Ballarat team with the aim of helping more mentees complete their secondary schooling education.
98% of the mentees engaged in the Murdoch University AIME program transitioned to their next grade of school in 2017. One mentee who has been in the AIME program since 2013 and completed Year 12 in 2016, has commenced her university journey in the K-Track enabling program at Murdoch in 2017. She is a confident, articulate young lady who is going to make some serious changes in her local community.
University of South Australia
One mentee undertook Year 12 in 2015 but didn't achieve his Year 12 certificate as he was facing some pretty big challenges. In 2016 he made the decision to repeat the year and became the first person in his family to complete Year 12. He has now transitioned into university and is completing Foundation Studies at UniSA with the intention of transferring to an Engineering degree.
With their biggest cohort of Year 12 mentees yet, 100% of the 101 Year 12s finished Year 12, with around a quarter of these transitioning into a university pathway in 2017 (24/101). One Year 12 mentee who has been part of AIME since she was in Year 9 became School Captain of her school in 2016 and has commenced studying nursing at Griffith University and has become an AIME mentor in 2017.
The University of Notre Dame
One mentee who has been participating in the AIME Notre Dame program for the past few years is currently completing a bridging course to become a nurse. She moved to Perth, away from all her mob in Kalgoorlie, to pursue her higher education and is living in a boarding house with other students. She visits the AIME office almost every day and while she is extremely committed to working hard at her studies, she has also signed up to be an AIME mentor in 2017!
Australian National University & University of Canberra
A Year 9 ACT mentee was one of 18 mentees from across the country who were selected to travel to Sydney and develop a video game that will inspire young minds to pursue pathways in science, maths, engineering, technology and innovation. The students were mentored throughout the week by best game designers and computer engineers in the business, and visited leading tech companies in Sydney.
Australian Defence Force Academy
One mentee who started attending AIME in 2014 formed an excellent mentee/mentor relationship with his mentor throughout the program days. When he transitioned into Senior College, he continued to regularly attend AIME tutor squads and kept the relationship he had with his mentor throughout these sessions. During the ADFA program day, he was really interested in applying for ADFA and spent the time talking to the cadets with his mentor. He has now been successful in his application into ADFA.
Western Sydney University
Year 12 mentee numbers tripled at WSU in 2016 and every single mentee completed Year 12! (64/64) On top of that 48% went to uni! One of these graduates attended every single AIME session in her 4 years of AIME. She spoke beautifully at her AIME Year 12 graduation, is now studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at Western Sydney University, is also an Aboriginal Education Officer (AEO) at her old school and an AIME mentor in 2017.
University of New England
In its first year of operation 100% of mentees transitioned to the next grade of school.
In its first year of operation 98% of mentees transitioned to their next grade of school and all of the mentees that completed Year 12 transitioned into a positive post-school pathway of either university, further education & training or employment.
It was another year of transformational education and wonderful outcomes for the Indigenous kids participating in AIME across our nation. It was also a year of exploring new evolutionary pathways for the AIME model. Here are some other highlights...
In 2016 Marlee Silva led the way by taking up a leadership development opportunity like no other, to become our inaugural Co-CEO. The next decade will see 9 more 18-25 year old Indigenous Australians participate in this challenging, transformational 12-month program.
UNE Armidale joins the family
We held our first program day on campus at UNE Armidale in 2016. The 116 kids who participated in the program achieved amazing educational outcomes this year with 100% progression rates across all years from 7 to 11.
Branson in a Hoodie
We celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians during NAIDOC Week and also reflected on how far we’ve come on Hoodie Day. Richard Branson pulled on his 2016 AIME hoodie in support of the work we do.
Game On Workshop at Google
AIME and Google partnered in a history first, when 18 Indigenous kids competed to see their maths and science video game concepts come to life, to inspire the next generation of Indigenous scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
First year with jjj Hottest 100
For our new partnership with triple j, one of our year 10 mentees created the artwork for the Hottest 100 t-shirt. 100% of proceeds came directly to AIME. Listeners also donated over $100,000 to AIME as the Hottest 100 counted down.
12th Best Workplace to work in Asia
At number 12 on the list AIME is one of a small group of organisations that put their people first; providing a strong, caring, innovative culture for employees that is distinguished by extraordinary levels of pride and camaraderie.
Youngest person in Australian History to get Hon Doc
Jack Manning Bancroft made history as Australia’s youngest recipient of an Honorary Doctorate. Breaking with tradition UniSA made the award in recognition of Jack’s work improving educational outcomes for Indigenous high school kids.
AIME Global announced from New York
After 12 years working with Indigenous kids in Australia, our CEO announced at an AIME event in New York that we would soon be sharing our DNA with the world, to ensure educational equality for marginalized students everywhere. In Jack’s words, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
KPMG once again audited AIME’s accounts. Headline is, we got enough cash in to be able to deliver the program to more kids than ever before. Second headline is that over $6 Million worth of in-kind support was generated throughout 2016 - we are very proud of this. Click through below for the deets.
As we get set to charge the program around the globe we wanted to take you back in time to our 2010 Film, nice to see how much it’s coming to life.
Thank you family.
Keep walking with us,
The AIME Team