FUTURE FOCUS: Speakers (above) Leon Appo, Jason Carr and Lee Simm at the James Nash and Gympie State High Murri Pathways session.
FUTURE FOCUS: Speakers (above) Leon Appo, Jason Carr and Lee Simm at the James Nash and Gympie State High Murri Pathways session. Craig Warhurst

Strategy helps teens know options

HELPING to “close the gap” yesterday at Gympie State High School was a group of speakers who focused their attention on local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ futures.

Queensland Education community education counsellor Leon Appo outlined the purpose of the Murri Pathways program to about 40 James Nash and Gympie State High teenagers.

Mr Appo said the aim of the program was to increase awareness of career options available to ATSI students from years eight to 12.

“We want you to start thinking about your future,” Mr Appo told the students.

“We want to make sure you know where you are going.”

It’s all part of a strategy to close the gap and ensure indigenous teenagers are not at a disadvantage, compared to non-indigenous Australians, when it comes to educational achievement and employment outcomes. Whether a student has aspirations to become a doctor or wants to pursue a trade or work in retail, Murri Pathways guides them in the right direction.

Speakers from a range of organisations attended the session, including Defence Recruitment’s Lee Simm, and Sunshine Coast University’s Cory Vzok.

Jason Carr from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, spoke to students about apprenticeships and traineeships and encouraged them to think about working for a government body and “helping your own mob”.

Mr Carr also touched on the need for the teenagers to explore their background if they did not know it already, and find out more about their indigenous heritage. “Find out where your tribe and family are from. We want to keep that strong,” he said.

Gympie Times


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