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Career expo guiding Indigenous students’ future footprints

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More than 200 regional and remote Indigenous students from across Western Australia heard insights on employment, training and furthering their education at this year’s Future Footprints Expo, held at Curtin Stadium last night.

The Future Footprints Expo is organised by the Association of Independent Schools of WA, hosted by Curtin University and sponsored by Woodside.

Three students from Christ Church Grammar School shared how they launched their own Indigenous tie design company, Tied to Culture, and representatives from Penrhos College, Wesley College and Christ Church Grammar School outlined how the program has made a difference to their pupils.

Launched by three school friends, Year 12 students Isaiah Butters, Liam Henry and Dontay Bolton, the idea for Tied to Culture was born while the trio discussed their post-secondary prospects and recognised a gap in the market for Indigenous-inspired clothing.

Funds from each tie purchased are donated to different charities including Beyond Blue, Pink Ribbon, MADALAH and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

AISWA coordinator Ms Roni Forrest said Future Footprints strived to engage and support Indigenous students to stay at school and achieve post-secondary qualifications.

“We want to give Indigenous children a place where they feel confident with the skills and knowledge they have and offer guidance to help them succeed,” Ms Forrest said.

“Hearing from the variety of speakers and exhibitors the expo had this year showcased the different possible opportunities and enabled the students to think more broadly about what path they would like to take and where they would like their career to take them.”

Centre for Aboriginal Studies Director Professor Marion Kickett said the expo offered an excellent opportunity for regional and remote Indigenous students to engage with higher education and industry professionals.

“The expo brings together a number of industry professionals and representatives from across the higher education sector to help regional and remote students gain a deeper understanding of the options available to them once they have finished high school,” Professor Kickett said.

“Curtin is proud to support this expo as education is a vital step in the movement towards achieving reconciliation and I look forward to seeing the bright futures these students create through the varied pathways to success they navigate.”

Students were able to find out more information from exhibitors including universities, government departments, TAFEs and companies, including major sponsor of the event, Woodside.

More information about the Future Footprints Program can be found here:

For more information about Tied to Culture, visit here:

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