The Girls Academy program, founded in 2004 by Olympian and champion basketballer Ricky Grace (MEdL, BPoLSc), has already helped thousands of at-risk Aboriginal girls overcome some of the common barriers which keep them from attending school, including poverty, teen pregnancy, drugs, alcoholism, violence, abuse, and a disconnectedness with their culture and community.
The Girls Academy Program works within the school system to drive community-led solutions aimed at reducing these barriers that prevent Indigenous girls from completing their education and reaching their full potential. The Girls Academy takes girls from 12 years old and works with them within the secondary school system until they complete their schooling. Girls receive up to 6 years of intensive one-on-one mentoring and support from our team of skilled field staff, 80% of which are highly accomplished Indigenous women.
As such, the Girls Academy represents the pinnacle of work readiness programs and our graduates are highly sought after. Local community and stakeholder engagement shapes our services. Our program managers, support staff, mentors and role models are sourced from within the local communities in which we operate.
In 2017 we are projecting a total of 2500 Indigenous girls participating in the Girls Academy program throughout 34 schools.
Our program increases the skills, employability, mental health and well-being of Indigenous girls throughout Australia – providing them with better opportunities to contribute to the social and economic outcomes of the wider community.
Academy girls are ready to make an economic contribution to our nation and to be part of the social change that is Closing the Gap. The Girls Academy equips Indigenous girls with the tools required to engage in their education, achieve their goals and change their communities.