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Educational success through support for Ceduna local
For 19 year old Kelli Gunter from Ceduna on South Australia’s west coast, going to university in Adelaide would be great, if she could afford to live there.
Kelli completed Year 12 at Immanuel College in Adelaide, with the support of The Smith Family and the Australian Government Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme.
Kelli applied to do a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Flinders University. However, Kelli said living in Adelaide prior to starting the course was difficult.
“I struggled to financially support myself and I was unable to find reliable accommodation for the duration of my studies,” Kelli said.
“For this reason I decided to move back to Ceduna after graduating and deferred my degree and take a gap year.”
Determined to be independent and be able to financially support herself while she studied, Kelli applied for help through the Indigenous Youth Mobility Pathways (IYMP) project delivered by Career Employment Australia and funded by the IAS Children and Schooling Programme.
With the IYMP support, Kelli returned to Adelaide and started studying a Certificate 3 in Business Administration. She also works fulltime for the IYMP as an admin trainee, gaining essential work experience in the process.
“I am now able to afford accommodation and can financially support myself as an independent on the program,” Kelli said.
But the program isn’t just about accommodation.
“By joining IYMP I am able to make use of laptops and the internet which are really important to complete my studies. Fortnightly food vouchers and budgeting support have made living on my own in Adelaide possible,” Kelli said.
She said that thanks to the Aboriginal support team at Flinders University she now enjoys the moral support necessary to complete the certificate.
“I have gained the confidence in my own strength and abilities and now have the faith and determination to begin tertiary studies,” Kelli said.
“As I was still unsure about what I wanted to study, IYMP has allowed me to find my true passion and that’s working with young people. I now want to begin my studies at Flinders University and study a Bachelor of Social Work to become a qualified Social Worker.”
The IYMP is for Indigenous young people aged 16 to 24, primarily from remote areas, who choose to move away from home to gain qualifications which will help them secure employment and better serve the community.
The IYMP aims to help young people complete Year 12 or an equivalent job-related course and improve pathways to post-secondary vocational training, tertiary study or apprenticeships. The IYMP offers safe and supported culturally appropriate accommodation and assists ways to sustainable employment.