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‘The Other Election’ students meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Danae Haynes, Jayden Gerrand and Shannon Hart-Cole, met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott while visiting Canberra to deliver their speeches for ‘The Other Election’. Image supplied

by Beth Zucker 11 December 2013

T

op three ‘The Other Election’ finalists, Danae Haynes, Jayden Gerrand and Shannon Hart-Cole, were flown to Canberra last week to deliver speeches they wrote as Australia’ first Indigenous Prime Minister of Australia. The students met Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the Prime Minister’s suite, delivered their speeches at a morning tea hosted by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, and attended a function hosted by Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce at Government House. The Other Election showcased 646 Indigenous high school students from across Australia

offering their vision as the country’s first Indigenous Prime Minister. Students crafted, and recorded to camera, their speeches in just two hours as part of workshops run by AIME Mentoring. The general public then cast over 65,000 votes online to select the final three students at www. theotherelection.com.au. AIME CEO, Jack Manning Bancroft, who founded AIME nine years ago as a 19-yearold university student, said that AIME has plans to reach 10,000 Indigenous high school students across Australia each year by 2018. “If over 600 Indigenous kids can write, rehearse and record their vision for Australia in just two hours; if a little mentoring program that started with 25 kids in Redfern

and ran off the smell of an oily rag can grow to work with 2,000 kids across the nation; if we can see Indigenous kids finishing school at the same rate as every Australian kid and shattering the mould that has been cast for them, then just imagine what’s possible,” said Mr Manning Bancroft. AIME was founded in 2005 with the goal to see Indigenous educational equality. Over the last four consecutive years, AIME students have finished school at almost the same rate as every Australian child. In 2012, the year 9 to university progression rate for AIME students was 22.1 percent – nearly six times the national Indigenous average of 3.8 percent and approaching the national nonIndigenous average of 36.8 percent.

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‘the other election’ students meet prime minister tony abbott