Beyond the Broncos program empowering Indigenous students - Education Matters Magazine

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Beyond the Broncos program empowering Indigenous students

A record number of students who graduated from the Beyond the Broncos program last year has taken the total number of graduates so far to more than 1,000, with more expected this year.

The Beyond the Broncos program is helping First Nations students in classrooms across Queensland and Northern NSW accelerate their learning outcomes, develop cultural pride and find their voice for change.

The program empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 7 – 12 to embed their culture into the fabric of their school and better their community through transferable skills.

Mr James Whitchard, principal of The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus, said the program was invaluable with engaging students and plays a significant role in retention and supporting the transition from year 12 into the workforce.

“For our girls to see First Nations people in leadership positions or positions of influence, we think is incredibly important,” Whitchard said.

“It empowers them to make the decisions in their life and map out the pathways they are going to take for themselves, which is really important.”

With the help of off-field sporting stars from the Broncos, the program equips students with the tools they need to learn and lead.

Ms Christine Halliwell, general manager of community and government programs at Brisbane Broncos, said the program has specific learning outcomes for students that align with current syllabus.

“Our program is important for students to develop their cultural pride and it helps cultivate leadership skills, particularly for our First Nations students,” she said.

“Our Beyond the Broncos Program has helped more than 4,000 students across Queensland and Northern NSW grow their confidence and learn from positive role models.”

Queensland student Georgia has become one of the first school captains of Indigenous background at Springfield Central State High School. Inspired by the program, Georgia said becoming a leader doesn’t stop at the school gate.

“Personally, being a deadly leader in myself is being able to keep pushing for that change because we’ve had a lot of push back from things in the past but to keep on going and have that persistence has really been rewarding,” she said.

“There might not be anything there when you start but you could be the foundation for everything else to go on.”

Beyond the Broncos has supported more than 4,000 students since it was established in 2016, recognising the vital role that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play in influencing the next generation.

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