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When it comes to mentoring Indigenous students, inspiration flows in both directions

When it comes to mentoring Indigenous students, inspiration flows in both directions

Published:17 March 2017

AIME volunteer Brittany Hinz

Aspiring teacher Brittany Hinz is looking forward to a second year of involvement with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) in 2017.

Brittany was CQUniversity's AIME Mentor of the Year for 2016. Her award included a trip to AIME's Professional Development Conference and Gala Ball in Sydney.

The CQUniversity Rockhampton Bachelor of Education student says she gained more than she gave during involvement in AIME in 2016.

AIME enables Indigenous high school students to be mentored and supported by university students, with a key goal being to ensure they complete high school at the same rate as their non-Indigenous counterparts.

“As someone aspiring to teach in primary schools, I knew I would have Indigenous kids in my classes and thought involvement in AIME would provide good insights on relating to them while helping and better understanding the Indigenous community,” Brittany says.

“The AIME experience was really of mutual benefit. You come in thinking you are going to be the one who inspires them but it goes both ways as well.

“In talking to the kids about life in general, some of the things they come out with made me think ‘that applies to me as well’ … they have a lot of insight.

“They don’t think they are smart or wise but they are very insightful about a lot of things.”

Across her Education degree, Brittany has gained practical teaching experiences at three primary schools and a kindergarten.

She’s now looking forward to her final internship at Berserker State School.

“I’m hopeful of Frenchville State School for my first posting after graduation. That was my first ‘prac teaching’ school. I’ve stayed in touch with my mentor teacher there and have gone back each year to help out.”

Away from the campus, Brittany is involved with Rockhampton Musical Union and volunteers for Meals on Wheels. She also tutors a range of other students.

The AIME program is currently recruiting for university students from all disciplines to apply to be mentors on the Rockhampton, Mackay and Gladstone campuses. Interested students can head to https://aimementoring.com/be-a-mentor or call Sarah Law 0408 599 803 for more information. 

AIME at CQUniversity is funded through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP).

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