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7 – 14 July 2024
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Aurora Education Foundation

National NAIDOC Education Award Category
Aurora Education Foundation

The Aurora Education Foundation is an Indigenous organisation that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to realise their full education and employment potential – whether it is completing Year 12 or achieving a PhD from Harvard. 

Through interconnected programs and pathways, the team at Aurora walk with students from high school through to university and into the workplace, redefining Indigenous educational and employment success. 

Aurora works towards a society in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people determine their own aspirations through education and life-long learning, shaping a new future for our country. 

Aurora’s role is to inspire First Nations peoples in their education journey, and connect them with educational and career opportunities that enable them to realise their potential. Aurora staff support students and scholars to achieve unparalleled outcomes and shift the conversation to one of proud and talented students with limitless potential. In order to achieve systemic change, Aurora is committed to an authentic and trusted approach, evidence-based decision making and a long-term focus. 

Aurora offers programs to Indigenous students, scholars and professionals at the high school, tertiary and executive levels including the RISE project, High School Program, Scholarships, International Study Tour and Internships.  

RISE is Aurora’s major new initiative to redefine Indigenous success in education. Over the next five years, Aurora will deliver and evaluate programs that enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to define and pursue their version of success with academic, cultural and wellbeing support. Insights from approximately 800 students will contribute to Australia-first insights about what works in Indigenous education, creating a platform for Indigenous-led advocacy and reform. 

Aurora’s High School Program is an intensive student-centered support program focused on academic improvements through a cultural lens. It is the only program of its kind that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families to access educational, wellbeing and cultural opportunities to support students to realise their academic potential and achieve their aspirations.  

Aurora’s Internship Program offers full or part-time internships for 4-6 weeks at organisations across a variety of sectors, including native title, justice, research, policy, education, community development, social welfare and health. The program supports interns to develop practical skills, gain real-world career experience and build professional networks.    

Aurora offers several programs to open pathways for high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and executives to further their academic excellence through the Study Tour, the Scholarship Program and Executive Education Scholarships. Aurora Scholars are trailblazing new pathways for Indigenous students and are role models for the next generation. 

The Study Tour program offers Indigenous students multi-week academic visits to some of the world’s best universities including Columbia, Harvard, and New York University in the US, and Cambridge, London School of Economics and Oxford in the UK. The aim of the Study Tour is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to build networks of support and gain an understanding of their options and pathways for success at leading overseas universities. 

Ten years ago there had never been an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person studying full time at Oxford or Cambridge. Today, 49 Indigenous postgraduate scholars have been accepted to these two universities and so far, 37 out of 37 have graduated. 

Aurora’s Executive Scholarship Program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander managers, entrepreneurs and leaders to attend executive education programs at some of the world’s best institutions, including Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School and INSEAD business school. Aurora’s Roberta Sykes Executive Scholarship provides Indigenous managers and professionals, who may not have the time or the formal qualifications to undertake ongoing study, the opportunity to gain new perspectives and ideas, develop skills and new qualifications.  

The Aurora Education Foundation is supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students all the way through to PhDs. You don’t have to look far to see some of Aurora’s program Alumni completing Masters degrees and Doctorates at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.  

Aurora ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can realise their full educational potential, pursue their professional aspirations, blaze trails and forge new pathways.

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