The initiative is a partnership between the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong and the NSW Department of Education and Communities – see MATSITI announcement of the Project on August 1.
The initiative targets newly qualified Aboriginal teachers who are interested in career progression through professional learning and development.
It provides access to trained mentors within the local area, in most cases within the same school, who work in a structured way with these select new teachers to enhance their skills and confidence in the hope of ensuring their retention and progression within their teaching roles.
Warilla High School teacher Elle Fitzgerald is one of 15 new and upcoming Aboriginal teachers and school leaders in the Illawarra Southeast region to this year to complete the mentoring program.
‘‘It was such a good opportunity and a really helpful experience. I didn’t realise something like this could help until I had it available to me, and I’m glad I did it because there was definitely a lot of benefit to being a part of it,’’ Ms Fitzgerald said.
The program had been supported by the vision and support of the faculty’s dean, Professor Paul Chandler, who himself is the first indigenous Dean of Education in Australia.
The program will be repeated to reach more Aboriginal teachers in 2013.