HomeCommunity PartnersEngaging Indigenous girls and boys with Literacy

Engaging Indigenous girls and boys with Literacy

Your donations at work (mid year update 2015)

“Anita is a young mum aged 17. She has reasonable literacy skills, but she dropped out of school because she became pregnant. She had a lovely child, which she and her family care for in the family home. Anita has always expressed a desire to finish school.

She took the opportunity to access this program to get homework and academic support
as she tackles part time high school. Anita has proven to be a very interested student that attends almost all ASPIRE sessions. We are very happy with her progress, and with continued family support, she will be able to re-enter high school and complete her certificate.

We are also very proud of Anita’s progress in terms of her universal personal development. Anita now thinks of a time she can finish school and find a job! She has expressed to us a real desire to attend our upcoming K&L Gates Day. K&L Gates is an international law firm with a Melbourne office who have offered to host a day giving ten of our girls an introduction into being a lawyer or joining the Legal Sector as a para-legal. Such a decision and aspiration to join in by Anita is a great step forward. While she may not want to be a lawyer, the idea that she could be or even aspire to it, we believe, is a powerful idea and a wonderful outcome. This type of encouragement for Anita is new to Anita’s life, and it is having a real effect on her schooling, her view on life and her views on her future.”

This year’s funding will support the ALF’s work with 20 young indigenous girls.  8 aged between 5-10, 12 aged between 10-15.

The ALF will operate a weekly tutorial and homework class.  These sessions will undertake specialized reading and how to learn to read classes.  The girls will be tested and mentored through their development.  Some of the girls will be quite young and will receive books and tutoring to enhance their understanding of English and how to read.  The older girls will be given intensified literacy tutorials and testing to improve their skills.  This older cohort will also be given aspirational mentoring to help them through their later primary years and first years of secondary school.  All of the girls will be given books, digital access, and free camps to inspire their learning.

Providing the opportunity for indigenous boys from Ballarat to be tutored and mentored over twelve months to specifically lift their academic results and inspire them to think of the possibilities that life can offer them.


The goals of this project revolve around ensuring that the boys increase not only their literacy and numeracy skills, but also their levels of well-being and personal self-esteem.  Statistics show that indigenous boys (as they grow up and particularly in their teenage years) are the most at danger (of their community) of falling off the tracks into despair, abuse, unemployment, personal crisis, ill-health, jail and early death.  Early intervention is a key to unlocking more positive pathways, and in particular literacy and numeracy education is an essential ingredient to practical change and social impact.

An effective component of the program is where the boys are mentored one on one.  The mentoring of the boys at  gymnasiums and on camps are well attended and very successful.  Good friendships and good discussions take place in these settings. As the project continues, this aspect of the program will come more into play as the boys are introduced to more external and community identities in order to encourage their aspirations/self- esteem and confidence for the future.

The funding we provide for this program is generated from Workplace Giving programs.

This organisation has received funding from United Way Ballarat in the following years:

2013, 2014, 2015,2016


Your donations at work (mid year update)

A young boy, who is 12, started the program with a reading age of 7. He is now reading at his chronological age. He is now a competitive and voracious reader at his school. He loves playing the literacy and numeracy games at the tutorial college, and he is the first one to put his hand up for horse riding or games on the mentoring camps. He is also one of our aspiring painters. At our Literacy and Heritage Camps he loves to paint traditional pictures. He is mentored by one of our longest standing Arts & Cultural tutors. Together they have formed a great bond. We look forward to seeing further dividends from this relationship as it develops and as our young student aspires for more! One great aspect of his learning is his painting; the ALF has agreed to buy one of his pictures for our Christmas/Greeting card collection. This collection is sold nationally to help promote the foundation and raise much needed funding for our programs. This will be a wonderful addition to our collection. The young lad, who was advised by his parents in this matter, asked for and got from us an on-going royalty from his sales. He sounds to me not just a talented artist but also a savvy businessman!
Another young lad of 15 has made such progress as a student within our tutes and camps that we have agreed to make him a student leader. This means this young man will be able to help, mentor and teach his fellow students. We see our student leaders as inspiring individuals that have the ability to encourage and build confidence in the group. This boy has made strong progression all along the way, and his attendance has been fantastic. We see him becoming an even stronger and more confident student as the program continues. He really enjoys the team spirit of the cohort.”





United Way Ballarat is working to advance the common good of our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health.  These are the building blocks for a good life—a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.  United Way Ballarat asks all the citizens of Ballarat and surrounding areas to do three things: GIVE – money and goods; ADVOCATE – on behalf of those who cannot; and VOLUNTEER – to invest time in our community More about United Way Ballarat


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