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The Smith Family’s Koorie Learning Club is bringing the community together

Extra support and positive learning environments can make a huge difference to students experiencing the effects of disadvantage. Since 2013, our Koorie Learning Club for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has been offering exactly that. And it’s bringing students of all ages together with incredible results.

After trying a few venues, our Koorie Learning Club found a great home at a boarding school in Victoria. It has given students at the school the opportunity to help out as volunteer tutors. And both the children participating and those volunteering are gaining so much from the experience.

“I love coming to Learning Club, we really appreciate the boys who help out. They help us do lots of things – like reading and writing – but they also make it fun. I look forward to it every week.” said Charli, aged 10.

Year 11 student, Patrick, sees helping younger students with their homework as a chance to inspire them. And it’s helping him to grow as well.

“I remember when I was young and in primary school, I always looked up to those older students who came and helped out. As a student, you always wanted to be around them and learn from them, so it’s nice to think I’m giving back now,” said Patrick.

“I’ve really got to know all the kids here and build relationships with them. I think the experience has improved me as a person.”

Marjorie, a proud Wotjobaluk woman from Victoria, has been there from the beginning and helped establish the program. She couldn’t be more impressed by the results.

“Two of the Koorie students who attended towards the beginning have completed their schooling. One has gone on to do a double degree at a university in Melbourne and the other was offered work at the school where they completed Year 12. And one of our tutors was a young Koorie man who has become a teacher,” said Marjorie.

“Our Koorie Learning Club helps Aboriginal children to learn and achieve their goals in school and beyond. Being here from the start has been an amazing journey.”

Story Source: The Smith Family

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