Another way we propose to achieve the Foundations objectives is through mentoring of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. A growing body of research demonstrates that mentoring can have powerful and lasting positive effects in improving behavioural, academic and vocational outcomes for at-risk youth. In an Indigenous context, mentoring is a particularly promising initiative because it fits well with Indigenous teaching and learning styles and can help to build strong collective ties within a community.
Young Indigenous Australians in some communities clearly face multiple and complex challenges that can put them at high risk of disengaging from their communities, schools and positive life courses. Although mentoring is no panacea, international and Australian evidence clearly demonstrates that it can be a powerful means by which a spiral into negative behaviours and outcomes can be short-circuited.