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What the program offers. Follow the Dream targets aspirant Aboriginal high school students and provides them with a supportive learning environment to enable them to complete high school and go on to university study.

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what the program offers
What the program offers
  • Follow the Dream targets aspirant Aboriginal high school

students and provides them with a supportive learning environment to enable them to complete high school and go on to university study.

  • The Programis based on extensive local community consultation and is being delivered by local people at the local level, with a strong focus on building the capacity of local and regional communities.
  • Follow the Dream is attracting significant financial support from

corporate partners.


State Reference Group



HR Support

Follow the Dream Overview

Local Steering



Program Funding





Program Facilitation &






Operations Group


Monitoring & Review

what the program does
What the program does

The program employs Program Coordinators who are classified as the same

level as a Head of Learning. Because of this we attract good people and

sustain the program in the context of career pathways. Program

Coordinators participate in high level, individualised case management of

selected students. Students enter the Program on the basis of a formal

commitment and are provided with:

  • An individual plan that focuses on academic excellence and rewards incremental success.
  • Tutors to assist with homework, study habits and goal setting.
  • A mentor to review their school progress and general wellbeing.
  • Regular updates on academic performance.
  • Educational excursions to develop confidence and skills.
  • A supportive and well-equipped facility for after-school study.
  • Career guidance and transition activities.
  • Currently there are 616 students in the program, including 91 Yr 12, 129 Yr 11 and 120 Yr 10 students.
  • The second term 2008 school attendance rate of participating students was 83.75%.
  • During second term 2008 an average of 26.5 after school support hours were delivered per student at operating Learning Centres.
  • From 2004 to 2007: 24 students obtained direct entry to university, 34 students entered university bridging courses, 28 students obtained entry to TAFE, 30 are in full time employment, 10 obtained mining traineeships and 2 entered the Indigenous Aerospace Initiative.
  • Community involvement in the education of their children is enhanced.
  • High level educational achievement to become the norm rather than the exception in the Aboriginal Community.
24 follow the dream sites across wa
24 Follow the Dream Sites Across WA

Albany Karratha

Armadale Katanning

Balga Kununurra

Belmont Kwinana

Broome Lockridge

Bunbury Mandurah

Carnarvon Newman

Esperance Northam

Geraldton Port Hedland

Governor Stirling Sevenoaks

Hamilton Hill Swan View

Kalgoorlie Tom Price

the future
The Future….

Follow the Dream Outreach

The Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate is currently piloting an expansion of Follow

the Dream transition and study support to metropolitan aspirant Aboriginal students who

currently do not have access to a Follow the Dream site. Activities to be provided include

Tertiary Entrance Exam (TEE) revision courses, ITAS tutoring and career and transition camps.

Follow the Dream Alumni

In partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation the Directorate is

establishing an Alumni for students who have been through the program. Currently 100 post

program participants have shown an interest in participating. This cohort includes students

studying law, medicine, business and education as well as former students who have secured

apprenticeships or traineeships.

northam community profile
Northam Community Profile
  • The Shire of Northam is located adjacent to the eastern boundary of the Perth metropolitan area. The Municipality is essentially an agricultural district. However, urban nodes are situated within the municipality, the largest of which are the towns of Northam with a current population of approximately 7,000 .
  • The rural areas of the Shire of Northam are influenced, by the urban activity of the Town of Northam, which functions as the centre for the immediate district. The district is roughly rectangular; it commences 56 kilometres east of Perth and continues another 57 kilometres eastward and average 25 kilometres in a north south direction, and it covers 1,425 square kilometres.
  • Northam has also been clearly established by the State Government as a Regional Centre, resulting in 23 Government Departments strengthening their regional office or establishing such an office. Furthermore, the four major banks have outlets in Town, unlike smaller rural communities.
northam senior high school context
Northam Senior High School Context

Northam Senior High School is the oldest Senior High School outside the Metropolitan area, having been established in 1921 and its beautiful old buildings exemplify the tradition and history of the school. The schools motto is ‘Achievement’ which epitomises the notion that by working collectively in a school community, with support and encouragement all can achieve.

Northam Senior High School has a current enrolment of 665 students (80 Aboriginal Students) (46.7% Female and 53.3% Male) represented by the following cohort numbers.

student profile
  • Northam Senior High School has an eclectic enrolment of students from a diverse range of social and economic backgrounds. At times some of these students struggle with identity and bring with them complex behavioural, emotional, educational and learning difficulties.
special aboriginal programs
  • School Based Traineeships
  • Literacy and Numeracy Program
  • Follow the Dream - TertiaryAspirations
  • Getting it Right - Literacy
  • Community Based Aboriginal Traineeships-Directions (Com’lth)
  • Clontarf Football Academy (2009)
school priorities
School Priorities
  • Attendance, destination and participation of students
  • Curriculum improvement and development
  • The middle years 8&9‘s BM&S strategy
  • Literacy – GiR
  • Aboriginal Education
follow the dream at northam senior high school
Follow the Dream - At Northam Senior High School
  • Targets aspirant Aboriginal students
  • Provides them with a supportive learning environment
  • Assists them to complete high school and go on to university
  • Provides the students with teacher mentor and advocacy
  • Fosters a safe, encouraging and welcoming environment that is also a well-equipped facility for after-school study
  • Individual plan that focuses on academic excellence and rewards incremental success: regular updates on academic performance
  • Fosters parent/carer, student and teacher partnerships for common goals
  • Provides tutors to assist with homework, study habits and goal setting: one on one attention
  • Student centered learning
  • Educational excursions to develop confidence and skills.
  • Career guidance and transition activities.
parental partnerships
Parental Partnerships
  • support every day attendance
  • best possible care of our child/children
  • send our child/children on camps and excursions organised as part of the program
  • provide a place for our child/children to complete work at home
  • attend all meetings called, to assist our child/children to succeed in the program
  • attend the learning centre at times to assist our child/children with their education
  • encourage our child to succeed at school
  • be positive about the potential of the program to other parents and students
program coordinator
Program Coordinator
  • work in partnership with students and their families to identify educational goals and aspirations
  • work in partnership with school AEIO’s, teachers, students and their families to support students in their aspirations to achieve their personal best
  • liaise with teachers of participating students to monitor and support student progress
  • work in partnership with families and the community to develop understanding of how school learning should happen
  • coordinate the learning centre and tutorial assistance for students
  • monitor and provide regular feedback to the student and family in partnership with the student’s teachers, AEIO’s and tutor
  • organise cultural activities to encourage positive self-identity and cultural pride
  • involve other agencies in providing support to participating students and their families (eg. role models, industry, organisations offering academic scholarships etc)
  • attend school everyday.
  • work to my potential in all my subjects.
  • study for all my tests.
  • complete all my homework, assignments and set tasks.
  • seek assistance from my teachers, mentor or tutor when I am having difficulties or problems.
  • attend all camps and excursions organised as part of the Program
  • attend the learning centre for a minimum of two days per week (for 2 hours each day).
  • act and behave in a positive manner as a role model to other students and friends.
contributing schools
Contributing Schools
  • The coordinator throughout the academic year visits (3) all contributing feeder schools to source and evaluate student information( WALNA Data,Class attendance, behaviour, attitude, academic potential and family support) to determine the suitability of prospective FTD students.
  • Establish relationships with those prospective students
  • End of year invitation for students, parents and teachers and give explanation of program requirements
  • Secondary graduation of an increased number of Aboriginal Students achieving a TER score resulting in University entrance or WACE allowing TAFE entrance
  • Improved literacy and numeracy levels
  • High level achievement in education becomes the norm rather than exception in the Aboriginal community
  • Comprehensive pastoral care program for secondary aged Aboriginal students
  • Improved retention rates
  • Community pride in excellence
  • Increased employment opportunities
  • Functional and reciprocal partnerships established to enhance education outcomes
  • Engagement of Aboriginal people in education through employment and support
principal expectations
Principal Expectations
  • Getting my school Aboriginal parent community involved on a daily school basis
  • Building better all round relations
  • Role Modelling of our students
  • Increase teacher expectation of Aboriginal Students in the school
  • Better pedagogical influences throughout the school
  • Professional Development of staff in Aboriginal student learning styles
  • Outstanding achievements in tertiary, work and civic responsibilities
challenges of a new coordinator
Challenges of a new Coordinator
  • Getting a handle on processes and procedures in the program and all it has to offer students
  • Making initial contact with students
  • Establishing a rapport with students and parents
  • Paperwork, paperwork and just when you thought it was safe, more paperwork.
  • Increase in student attendance-some students are attending up to 6 hours of extra study per week
  • Increase in student numbers- centre now has 25 students compared with 14 students at the beginning of 2008
  • Students academic results are improving as a result of extra tuition
  • Teachers make regular contact with the coordinator to revise student progress, discuss attitude and attendance in class as well as any problems that the student may be encountering.
  • Parents are very supportive of the centre, shown in recent celebration night where all parents of students came to dinner to welcome all new participants in the program.
  • Successful introduction of ‘Follow the Dream Dollars” Students are rewarded with FTD currency in exchange for hours they attend at the FTD Centre. These dollars can be exchanged for educational rewards ie Colour printing credits, use of computer for educational games-unfortunately not for a new sports car, as one student wanted.
student succeses
  • Female Student, Year 11,school attendance dropped 35% and no attendance to FTD program. After talks with Student, Parent and teachers, a new timetable was negotiated with more appropriate career orientated subjects, with a tutor who was ‘in tune” with her needs- results are school attendance now 81% and 100% attendance (4 hours per week) at FTD centre.


  • Male student, year 9,not completing class work, disruptive and fighting in school ground. Again, met with Principal, parents and student and an outside mentor ( brother who had left home). Collaboratively decided on educational goals and career path with clear boundaries of attendance and behaviour. Student has now 90% school attendance, 100% attendance at FTD Centre and received a commendation from two teachers for his assignment work.


  • Female student, Year 9, high achiever, 98% attendance at school and FTD centre, suddenly stops attending. Student comes to FTD house during day and confides that she no longer has a place to study at home because of domestic troubles. After negotiation, arranged for student to study during day in breaks at school, as well as increased time in after school FTD program.