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Local Aboriginal students succeed during first stage of mentorship program

Friday, 30 June 2017 11:54:43 AM

A mentorship program between police and local Aboriginal students at La Perouse Public School has improved school attendance rates by eight per cent.

The ‘Next Gen Dreaming’ program, created by officers from Eastern Beaches Local Area Command (LAC), was launched in March 2017 to help strengthen relationships with students and the Aboriginal community while working closely with teachers and other staff.

Every Friday for the past 12 weeks, police mentors have visited the school to teach lessons about issues such as bullying, cyber-bullying, road safety, the role of police in the community, and specialist units in the Force.

To celebrate the end of term, today (Friday 30 June 2017), the 26 students whom predominantly identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander visited the NSW Police Mounted Unit and Air Wing.

Eastern Beaches LAC Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Stacey Maloney said the program has had great success in building rapport with parents and students.

“We have seen improvements in several areas including better school attendance, new equipment through funding, more willingness to participate in activities, and greater knowledge and confidence in our officers,” Det Insp Maloney said.

“The VIP visit to two of our specialist units is a reward for the students’ achievements over the past three months.”

Police have worked closely with the local Aboriginal Community and other government and non-government stakeholders to ensure the program celebrates the Aboriginal culture appropriately.

“We obtained funding from local businesses to provide a nutritious BBQ lunch each week and we invite the parents along to increase engagement,” Det Insp Maloney said.

The mentoring program continues in term two in July 2017.