Skip to content
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 attend CareerFit - a week-long intensive program 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 can 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:
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 please contact Alex Hahn 0400 444 945 


More from this category

  • Education Training, Industrial Relations
  • 13/06/2024
  • 15:48
Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch

Reinforcing the right to disconnect for school staff

Thursday 13 June 2024 Reinforcing the right to disconnect for school staff The Independent Education Union rejects a push by employer groups to limit the right to disconnect for teachers and support staff in independent schools, submitted to the Fair Work Commission this week as it reviews modern awards. The Association of Independent Schools (AIS), which represents employers in over 300 schools, is pushing for teachers and support staff to remain available after hours. The independent schools sector includes not just the big, well-known institutions, but also smaller schools including faith-based, ethnic and alternative schools. “Teachers and school staff are…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training, General News
  • 13/06/2024
  • 15:12
La Trobe University

La Trobe applauds new explicit teaching approach

As the first university to lead the direction and move to Science of Learning approaches in our teaching degrees, La Trobe University applauds the Victorian Government announcement it will embed evidence-based teaching and learning into every classroom, including the use of systematic synthetic phonics in the early years. LaTrobe’s School of Education, led by Professor Joanna Barbousas, has been at the forefront of evidence-informed approaches and structured literacy through short courses which have supported more than 11,000 teachers, many in Victoria. Since 2020, La Trobe’s Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab has been instrumental in advising systems and assisting…

  • Education Training
  • 13/06/2024
  • 10:01
Department of the House of Representatives

2024 My First Speech competition begins

The 2024 edition of the national My First Speech competition for year 10, 11 and 12 students opened today and is now accepting submissions. The competition asks students towrite and record a 90-second speech on a topic they are passionate about as if they are making their first speech in the House of Representatives. A winner from each year group is selected and flown to Canberra with a parent or guardian where they deliver their speech at Parliament House. Winners will also meet MPs, tour Parliament House, and learn more about the democratic process. A panel of judges, which includes…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.