A RECENT trip to Sydney has given year nine student Bradley Goedhart Williams more than just online gaming skills.
The Lavalla Catholic College student travelled interstate this month as one of 18 students selected by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience team.
There, he helped develop a video game that would inspire other young people to learn and excel at maths and science.
He has returned with more confidence in public speaking and an appetite for pitching ideas.
“They were teaching us how to pitch our ideas to people; they were showing us how to be confident people,” the 15 year-old said.
“(The highlights were) mostly just doing all the gaming; that was fun.”
An educational program focused on furthering the opportunities of indigenous students, AIME has partnered with universities and schools to connect about 6000 students with 1800 mentors.
It delivered the week-long Game On program as part of the Google Impact Challenge, giving students guidance from game designers and computer engineers.
Lavalla Catholic College indigenous education liaison John de Souza said the school hoped to continue working with AIME to offer its indigenous students exciting educational opportunities.
“(AIME offers students) great opportunities to see what’s out there and to start thinking about what they want to do when they finish school,” Mr de Souza said.
“(That is) if they want to go to university, if they want to go to TAFE, if they want to do an apprenticeship or further training or what job they want to do.”
Last year Bradley was one of four Lavalla students who visited a university campus to see what a life of higher education would look like.
Bradley is the first Lavalla student to attend the Game On program.
He said he would definitely return if given the chance.
His homeroom teacher, Fran Renehan, has welcomed the benefits of the AIME program, noting Bradley’s transformation had blown her away.
“I’ve just found his whole demeanour just completely different, so the experience in Sydney has really improved his communication skills and his willingness to talk to the different teachers,” Ms Renehan said.
“It’s just been a real eye-opener… I can see that the benefits of the AIME program have really allowed him to blossom and not be embarrassed by his achievements.”
AIME is working to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in post-school pathways such as further education and employment.
It plans to support 10,000 students by 2018 as they transition from school to university, employment or further training.