Australia-First Report Reveals Indigenous Students’ Culture, Confidence & Aspirations Strengthened Through New Programs

Aurora Education Foundation

April 2024. The Aurora Education Foundation (Aurora) has today released its inaugural 2024 RISE Impact Report, publishing first-of-its-kind insights about what works in Indigenous education.

Launched in 2021, RISE is an Australia-first Indigenous education initiative that delivers and evaluates three distinct programs to encourage Indigenous student outcomes. All programs deliver tutoring at a minimum, with the most intensive program providing a comprehensive set of in-person interactions, including camps, tutoring, engagement days, and Elder and Indigenous mentor support.

Early findings illustrate that when students are supported through RISE, there is a significant increase in self-confidence, educational aspirations and cultural knowledge, with Aurora staff and mentors also having a direct impact on students deciding to complete the HSC versus other education pathways.

Emerging data relating to student experience has found a 116% increase in the proportion of students who knew about their Indigenous family history and culture, a 22% increase in the proportion of students who felt confident in achieving their goals and a 12% increase in the proportion of students who think a lot about their future goals.

Data relating to parent and carer engagement has found a 176% increase in the proportion of parents and carers who spoke to their child daily about work and study plans, and a 28% increase in the proportion of parents and carers who understood the subjects their child needed to take to go to university.

Insights from extensive analysis about ‘success’ in Indigenous education has also illustrated that supporting the social and emotional development of students was critical to Indigenous students’ definition of success in education, and that Indigenous students and families found that success in education was often in spite of rather than because of Australia’s education system.

These insights form only part of the 2024 RISE Impact Report, with a suite of outputs, including a unique curriculum, Outcomes Framework and detailed program models set to change the way Australia’s education system supports and encourages Indigenous student outcomes.

Aurora’s CEO Leila Smith says, “I am incredibly proud to be launching our inaugural RISE Impact Report, as we work to redefine Indigenous success in education and show what is possible when decisions about Indigenous people and communities are Indigenous-led and governed. Through this Report, we’re not just showing what is possible, we’re also showing how it can be possible, and this has huge ramifications for decision makers in government and education. Importantly, this report shows what we’ve been saying at Aurora for years – the potential of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people is limitless. I am excited about the continued impact of this initiative over the coming years.”

Governance of RISE data is overseen by Aurora’s independent and external Indigenous Data Governance Committee, composed of five experts in Indigenous Data Governance and education. The Committee is chaired by Euahlayi man, Bhiamie Williamson. The committee is made up of the following members: Noonuccal woman, Dr Karen Martin, D’harawal man Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Nyungar Goreng woman Gail Barrow and Meriam woman Alex Hohoi. Indigenous Data Governance ensures that all elements of the RISE data life cycle are accountable to Indigenous communities, respectful of Indigenous rights and interests, and promotes Indigenous aspirations for self-determination in education.

The 2024 RISE Impact Report is available to read now via the Aurora website,

/Public Release.