Best onesie contest for equal education

Kirbie Storrier and Zoe Cartwright are organising a Onesie Party. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Kirbie Storrier and Zoe Cartwright are organising a Onesie Party. Picture: GREG ELLIS

A program trying to help indigenous students get through high school at the same rate as non-indigenous students has resulted in a Onesie Party to be held at the Hotel Illawarra on August 19 in support of a new mentoring initiative.

Organised by volunteer mentors Zoe Cartwright and Kirbie Storrier, the fund-raiser includes a competition for the best onesie.

The University of Wollongong students got involved with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) to help indigenous Australians get equal opportunity in education and employment.

Ms Cartwright and Ms Storrier said that nationally, only 3.8 per cent of indigenous students in year 9 would make it to university, compared with 36.8 per cent of non-indigenous students.

Ms Cartwright and Ms Storrier believe doing something to improve indigenous outcomes in education will go a long way towards addressing other issues.

It has been estimated that every dollar spent on AIME generates $7 for the economy.

The two UOW student volunteers said the AIME program was highly effective and was open to all indigenous students at participating schools.

Figures show that participants are seven times more likely to complete high school and continue on to a university education than those who do not get such an opportunity.

"From a more personal perspective, we can tell you that the sessions working with the kids are fun, practical, and 100 per cent dedicated to success," Ms Cartwright said.

"Although these stats are great, we don't think it's enough. AIME hopes to expand to reach 10,000 indigenous high school students by 2018. This is where we come in.

"We are planning the fund-raiser at the Hotel Illawarra on the 19th of August to be a pretty simple event. It is just a themed party with tickets available online and at the door."

The organisers are now looking for donations. They would welcome gift vouchers, old stock, a hamper or anything similar that they could use as prizes.

Financial donations can also be made to the cause at https://aimefundraising.everydayhero.com/au/zoe for Ms Cartwright and https://aimefundraising.everydayhero.com/au/kirbie for Ms Storrier.

"We've currently raised just under $700 between us, but are hoping to crack $3000 by the end of the year," Ms Cartwright said.

There is also a Facebook page for the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/323680234453900.

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