Goori Stars Project – Special Considerations
Special Considerations for the Goori Stars Project
- The focus of this project is supporting achievement of Indigenous (GOORI) students across their entire journey
- This is a form of Indigenous achievement program.
- The alumni connection is important; while the reality is there are currently few alumni, and the bulk of the work and need is focused on the front end of the ‘pipe’ – that is those who have the talent but don’t yet see a viable pathway for themselves into education.
- We will have the support of our Bundjalung Elders Group, as the University has been discussing with them that the most fundamental aspect of addressing inequity is to ensure the success of all Indigenous students now studying, and then to create a strong pathway for more Indigenous students to follow in their footsteps.
- We will apply “strengths-based thinking” so that we don’t fall into “deficit language”. The reality is that students will benefit from access to services (like Counselling) but the primary frame for the program would need to be strengths based.
- We would want a group of young Indigenous people to help design it, to ensure we use appropriate language and imagery to create a sense of cultural safety.
- We will establish-
- Peer to peer meet ups, where we provide the space and lightly facilitate social connection
- Mentoring, that includes Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people and attends to their personal context as well as their chosen professional field. (Ideally the mentors would be 100% Indigenous, but this may be a hard task to recruit enough.)
- Community service/leadership, where participants increasingly become advocates and role models and talk about their own journey in schools and other forums.
- Capacity building, where we provide high quality learning activities that sit outside their formal studies and focus on how we support these young individuals to really become champions and advocates in their own small way. It may be as simple as some public speaking and performance skills (for example delivered by Rhoda Roberts at NORPA) that helps to build their confidence and ability to represent their own choices and desires within their family networks.
- Safe space on campus, where the students would be able to come and feel culturally safe and understood and to know that they could ask for help if they feel they need it – and importantly this would sit outside their studies and not reflect on their commitment to their studies.