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Furthering an education through ‘Ready Set Crow’
Leaving home and family to seek an education is not easy for young Indigenous students from remote communities. But the Adelaide Football Club’s Ready Set Crow (RSC) program is helping students with the transition.
Led by Adelaide Crows legend Andrew McLeod, the RSC program officers travel to both the APY Lands and Far West Coast of South Australia once a school term to conduct community liaison visits. They engage with primary schools and the wider community offering pathways to further education for the students.
Beginning in 2015 with 20 students, the RSC program provides mentoring support to students that are looking to take up scholarships to study at the Wiltja Secondary College at Woodville High School in Adelaide with accommodation at the nearby Wiltja Residence at Northgate.
Mentoring is a critical part of the program. It is conducted over a 40 week period and involves group mentoring, one-to-one mentoring, and instruction in leadership skills and self-development.
Program officers develop individual relationships with each student that support, nurture and encourage their educational and personal growth.
Andrew said that supporting young people on their journey to achieve great things is very rewarding.
“We don’t seek recognition for the work we do; the smiles and the relationships you build with young people justifies why we do what we do,” Andrew said.
“We have a number of students we support, some we have face to face contact with every week and others we keep in contact via social media and phone.”
The RSC program also includes a recreational program and weekend activities.
To help the upper primary school students make this important decision, the program supports the students and their families to take up short term visits to Adelaide for a 'Taste of Wiltja’.
Prospective students are selected by the RSC officers in conjunction with their primary school teachers, Wiltja staff and officers from the Department of Education and Child Development.
Andrew said that most new students are very shy and reserved.
“After building strong relationships and breaking down some walls, students tend to come out of their shell,” Andrew said.
“The transformation we see through our leadership sessions as our students gain confidence and pride in who they are is incredible to witness.”