First Nations students in classrooms across Queensland and Northern NSW are accelerating their learning outcomes, developing cultural pride, and finding their voice for change, all thanks to the Beyond the Broncos Program.
More than 2,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 7 – 12 are excelling both inside the classroom and within their local communities, forging strong paths forward to become the next generation of inspirational leaders.
Taught through a cultural lens, the Beyond the Broncos Program empowers students to integrate their culture into the fabric of their school and improve their community through transferable skills.
James Whitchard, Principal of The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus, said the program was invaluable in engaging students and played a significant role in retention and supporting the transition from Year 12 into the workforce.
“For our girls to see First Nations people in leadership positions or positions of influence, we think is incredibly important,” Whitchard said. “It empowers them to make decisions in their lives and map out the pathways they are going to take for themselves, which is really important.”
With the help of off-field sporting stars from the Broncos, the program equips students with the tools they need to learn and lead.
Beyond the Broncos has supported more than 4,000 students since its establishment in 2016, recognizing the vital role that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play in influencing the next generation. A record 281 students graduated from the program last year, bringing the total number of graduates so far to more than 1,000.
Queensland student Georgia has become one of the first School Captains of Indigenous background at Springfield Central State High School. Inspired by the program, Georgia said becoming a leader doesn’t stop at the school gate.
“Personally, being a strong leader means being able to keep pushing for change because we’ve faced resistance in the past. To keep going and maintain that persistence has been really rewarding,” Georgia said. “There might not be anything there when you start, but you could be the foundation for everything else to build upon.”
Christine Halliwell, General Manager of Community & Government Programs, said the highly successful program has specific learning outcomes for students that align with the current syllabus.
“Our program is important for students to develop their cultural pride, and it helps cultivate leadership skills, particularly for our First Nations students,” Halliwell said.
“Our Beyond the Broncos Program has assisted more than 4,000 students across Queensland and Northern NSW in boosting their confidence and learning from positive role models.”
The original version of this story appeared as a media release from the Broncos.