IT’S all about making sure the girls don’t become another statistic.
But as the Oxley High Aboriginal Girls Academy winds-up its inaugural year, its successes are told through statistics which defy the odds.
Oxley’s Aboriginal education officer Janine Way says the program has already forged ahead with its goal to get girls attending school more and set on their paths of post-school work or study.
The academy has been running for one year and already kicking goals with near perfect attendance and university beckoning for its Year 12s.
“Individually, most of the girls were sitting around the 97 per cent [attendance] mark for the whole year, so it’s made a big difference,” Ms Way said.
Four Year 12 girls graduated from the academy this year with three accepted into university and one is working full-time.
Ms Way said attendance rates were as low 70 per cent previously.
“Our girls are good attenders, but they were finding it difficult coming from year 10 to year 11 and 12,” she said.
“Just the influx of assessment tasks and things like that, so you do loose a lot of our Indigenous kids.
“For me, being an Indigenous person, I want our girls to go through and not become another statistic.”
There’s some stark statistics outlined in the academy’s national prospectus which says Indigenous girls graduate Year 12 at a rate 27 per cent lower than the national average.
Ms Way put the Oxley academy’s success and surging statistics down to the support provided.
Offering breakfast, help with assessment tasks, work experience and university visits, it’s all about whatever they can do to support, Ms Way said, they’ve even got their own bus to pick up students if they miss their regular ride. “[We’re] making sure there’s nothing preventing them from coming to school,” Ms Way said.
The academy was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by the Westpac Foundation.
Ms Way said the additional funding would give “them the opportunity to be able to take them on more employment visits”.