The Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) program, which has been running intensives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth for nine years will commence 2019 camps in April.

Students from Year 8 right up until post-secondary can be involved in the programs.

The first of the programs REAL Determined, aims to strengthen Year 9 and 10 students’ cultural connection and leadership skills.

They then progress to the REAL Empowered program for Year 11 and 12 students focusing on career and further education.

KGI Program Manager, Thara Brown, expressed the importance of providing a culturally safe environment for our youth to come together.

“Some of the participants in our REAL Program are the only aboriginal students in their school,” she explained.

“Coming into KGI provides them with not only the opportunity to connect to their culture but to meet other aboriginal role models that they can be inspired by.”

Following the REAL Empowerment Program is the REAL Impact program, which is an opportunity for alumni to gain a qualification with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC).

Alumni complete a Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership as part of the course and actively help on programs as mentors for future youth.
REAL Program Leader, Mike Naawi, said that it was the impact that mentors had on him, that inspired his decision to help other younger people.

“I feel like I owe something back to KGI for giving me all the qualities it takes to be a leader in my community,” he said.

“It’s my obligation to give back to the next kids coming up because they’re really the avenue for change.”