New partnerships, new possibilities

There’s nothing like an Innovate program to remind us of the endless possibilities for new ideas and concepts, and a new partnership initiative with the Aurora Education Foundation was no exception.


Aurora is a national organisation supporting Indigenous education. One of their core programs, The Aspiration Initiative (TAI), provides intensive educational and related support for Indigenous students to complete high school and succeed at university and in higher education. As part of the program, the students take part in residential academic camps during the holidays.

By partnering together, we’ve been able to integrate part of our Innovate STEM mentoring program into TAI in a shared pilot held in WA earlier this year. For the first time, TAI students came into Perth to take part in an Innovate workshop hosted by CBA, supported by mentors from CBA, Microsoft and BankWest.

Among the many exciting ideas that sprung from our initial session was the ‘Homefunwork’ app – a brilliant concept that locks all other apps until homework has been completed. And then there’s the ‘Bullydozer’, designed to reduce bullying in schools, with a built-in panic button. Students will complete the Innovate program during the next TAI camp in the July school holidays.

This is a wonderful example of how ABCN can begin to broaden our reach through partnership. Based on the success of this new pilot, we are exploring future opportunities in other states.

Only 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students complete Year 12, compared with 75% of the general population. And only 25% transition to university by age 21, compared with 57% of the general population. In both scenarios, that’s less than half. These figures are staggering. It is one of many reasons why we are looking to extend our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and why we are so thrilled to have partnered with the Aurora Education Foundation.

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