Beaumaris Rotary is actively engaged with activities which help indigenous communities. Currently we focus on two specific areas:
End Trachoma by 2020
Rotary’s 2017-18 International President, Australia’s Ian Riseley, wants a trachoma-free Australia by 2021, Rotary’s 100th year in Australia. We are the world’s only developed country with trachoma, an infectious eye disease that can be prevented with good hygiene practices.
The World Health Organisation has a global goal to eliminate trachoma by 2020. Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can be prevented with good hygiene practices. But it is still present in remote Aboriginal communities and can lead to permanent blindness.
The work of the Australian Government, the Fred Hollows Foundation and Indigenous Eye Health to treat trachoma infections has seen rates in affected communities reduced substantially. But now, we need to ensure that hygiene practices and the community environments are improved to completely eliminate the disease.
Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS)
The need for MITS
Every family wants the very best education for their children. For some Indigenous families in remote and regional communities, this may mean moving away from home to school in a big city.
However, for students moving from remote or regional communities to big city schools, making that step can be hugely difficult. MITS seeks to empower Indigenous students to make this step.
Unique educational support for Indigenous students
MITS has developed a new educational model to provide choice and opportunity to Indigenous students from remote and regional communities across Australia.
Each year, 22 Indigenous boys and girls (around Year Seven age) come to live at the MITS boarding house in the Vaucluse, Richmond. They to go school inside the Richmond Football Club, where they study a curriculum focused on numeracy and literacy, delivered by MITS’s teachers. MITS provides a warm home-style environment that celebrates culture and understands the challenges of transitioning from a small community to a big city.
At the end of their MITS year, our students move into scholarship positions at Melbourne Partner Schools. Throughout their MITS year, students spend time at their Partner Schools, providing genuine transitional learning for both student and school.
An initiative by dedicated individuals within the education sector and the Indigenous community, MITS receives Department of Education funding as a registered school, and is also be supported by its Partner Schools and many donors.
Located in the heart of Melbourne
The MITS boarding house is a magnificent old building named Lockington, in The Vaucluse, Richmond. Spaces designed by leading educational architects provide a warm home environment, and neighboring accommodation enables families to visit their children during their transition year.
Each school day, students walk to their unique classroom inside the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute. The KGI is a culturally strong space where our students feel confident and proud in who they are.
For students, MITS is much more than a school. It is a nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to embrace their studies, explore and celebrate their identity, and make the most of all that life in inner-city Melbourne has to offer. The MCG, Bridge Road, Swan Street, the Yarra River and the CBD are all within walking distance.
Managed and governed by educational experts
MITS is staffed by a dedicated team of teachers, boarding coordinators and support staff, who are equipped with the skills to support students to successfully transition into their Partner Schools. We are proud that many of our teachers and boarding supervisors are themselves Indigenous people.
Specialist teachers focus on accelerated numeracy and literacy, whilst boarding supervisors ensure that each student’s wellbeing is closely monitored and that cultural identity is celebrated and explored. Support staff develop and strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities and Partner Schools.
MITS is governed by a board made up of individuals with a depth of experience in Indigenous communities and education.
To find out more go to MITS