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Education Training, Indigenous

Indigenous-led program closing the gap in education and employment

NASCA - the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy 3 mins read
Harry Murphy (left) Brendon (right)

Brendon Barker* was teetering on a precipice when he discovered the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA).

At the age of 15 the young Wiradjuri Barkindji man suffered unimaginable tragedy, losing his father, a close friend, and a beloved Aunty in the space of nine months.

He was struggling at school and couldn’t see the point of continuing. That all changed when he joined NASCA. A 100% Indigenous-led organisation that runs school-engagement programs across NSW and in remote NT communities helping students like Brendon achieve their educational potential.

The program works to improve the social and emotional well-being and educational and employment outcomes of Indigenous students by providing one-to-one mentoring, and academic support and connecting kids to Culture. 

In 2022 NASCA achieved a 100% graduation rate for their Indigenous students in NSW compared with the State average of just 43%.

“NASCA made me go from hating school to loving it, now I’m on the way to graduating. Having that support system changed my life 100 percent,” says Brendon.

With NASCA’s continued support Brendon, now aged 17, is looking forward to his future after high school. 

Today, he and more than 70 other NASCA students will be attending CareerFit - a week-long intensive program in Sydney that provides opportunities for Indigenous students to find meaningful employment pathways.

In its second year, CareerFit has almost doubled in size and delivers skills development workshops, networking events, and opportunities to meet Indigenous mentors working in different industries.

NASCA Pathways Program Lead, Sydney, Harry Murphy said NASCA’s focus on Indigenous-led solutions made it different from other programs.

“NASCA is 100% Indigenous-led. We have the knowledge and lived experience to understand what our young people need to thrive at school and beyond. We work with these kids throughout the school year, help them graduate then walk alongside them through programs like CareerFit helping them to successfully transition into the workforce.”

Latest NSW statistics show that just over 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 15-24 are in full-time employment, education or training, compared to 80% of non-Indigenous Australians. Events like CareerFit aim to help close that gap. 
 
Companies involved CareerFit are given tips on how to engage with students and focus on exposing them to employment opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable to them.

The program coincides with the 2023 AFL Indigenous Round and Vivid Sydney where students will be able to attend the game and events around the city.

Students need a minimum of 75 percent school attendance to participate in the program.


Key Facts:

In 2022 NASCA achieved a 100% graduation rate for their Indigenous students in NSW compared with the State average of just 43%.

 

Latest NSW statistics show that just over 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 15-24 are in full-time employment, education or training, compared to 80% of non-Indigenous Australians. 


About us:
ABOUT NASCA
 
NASCA is a 100% Indigenous-led organisation helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people attend and complete school and gain employment and further education opportunities.
 
There are a lot of barriers our young people face including discrimination, exclusion, intergenerational trauma, family breakdowns and cultural loss and dislocation. These all have a huge effect on their ability to complete their education and find employment.
 
NASCA exists to help break down those barriers. We encourage students to come to, stay in and graduate school, with one-to-one mentoring, academic and assessment support and helping them connect to their Culture. We then help them access further education, employment or training opportunities after high school through events like CareerFit and our Pathways Program.

Contact details:

For interview opportunities contact Alex Hahn 0400 444 945 alexhahn@nasca.org.au

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