The business plan

Executive Summary

Show Me The Way Incorporated is a charity registered in NSW. Show Me The Way (SMTW) encourages Indigenous students to stay at school and go on to tertiary education by supporting the students with technological tools including an interactive web site with one to one online mentoring.

SMTW Vision Statement
Self-empowering Indigenous students to complete their secondary studies and achieve their potential, whilst ensuring cultural relevance every step of the way

National Programs
SMTW role model videos are being used around Australia through the Australian Public Service Commission. In 2010, with the support of SMTW, videos were produced by students from the Exodus Foundation’s Exodus Youth and James Busby High School in Sydney and are available to see on this site.

During 2011, WESTPAC Group school-based trainees in collaboration with SMTW made Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander role model videos in Brisbane, Wollongong and Adelaide.

With government support and private sector funding, SMTW is a national resource for Indigenous students in the transitional years of primary to high school and then to higher education.

Show Me The Way has DGR status and all donations over $2 are fully tax-deductible.

The Facts

The Need for Role Models
“…communities felt that long-term funded and resourced programs that systematically created links between Aboriginal students and positive role models were essential.”

The Report of the Review of Aboriginal Education Yanigurra Muya: Ganggurrinyma Yaarri Guurulaw Yirringin.gurray. Freeing the Spirit: Dreaming an Equal Future NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated and NSW Department of Education and Training 2004

Education Standards
“Across Australia, a smaller proportion of Indigenous students is likely to be achieving at or above the national minimum standard compared to non-Indigenous students. The difference ranges from 22 to 31 percentage points, for Numeracy and Grammar and
Punctuation, respectively.”

National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy Report 2008

Full-time Employment and Education Attainment

Table 1:

Indigenous persons in full-time employment – 2006


“…for young people aged 18-24 years, where the rate of full-time employment among those who had completed Year 12 was four times as high as among those who had left school at Year 9 or below (37% compared with 9%).”

Participation in the Transition from Education to Work

In 2006, Indigenous young people aged 18-24 years were half as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be engaged in either full-time work, full-time study or in both part-time work and part-time study (33% compared with 71%).

Table 2:

Persons aged 18-24 years - 2006

Our Vision

Engage, Inspire, Enable, Empower, 

Our Focus

  • Incentives to engage and support participation

  • Mentoring is a two-way learning partnership that inspires success

  • Technology helps with enabling students to realise and achieve their goals

  • Empowering Indigenous children to make their own life choices

SMTW: Strengthening the National Agenda

In line with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement to a Compact with Young Australians, Show Me The Way supports young people’s engagement with education and training pathways. Show Me The Way supports the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations' key responsibility of halving the gap for Indigenous Year 12 attainment or equivalent by 2020.

Vocational education and training in NSW schools – providing skills and opportunities (A statement of purpose)

"The NSW Government is committed to preparing young people to take their place in the workforce or go on to further studies. It is a key priority of the NSW Government’s State Plan ‘A new direction for NSW’, to increase the proportion of students completing Year 12 or recognised vocational training from 82.7% in 2005 to 90% in 2016."


SMTW Program: New South Wales Education and Training Policy Goals

SMTW reinforces the implementation and both the influence and impact of NSW DET policy documents. SMTW emphasises alignment and significance of future NSW DET policy implementation directions For indigenous students.

The SMTW program is provided either discreetly or in conjunction with existing programs implemented in schools and other settings. SMTW  provides a complementary career education pathway specifically tailored to the needs of Indigenous students. The program can be flexibly adapted for use with all students and in particular for those with literacy learning challenges. The SMTW program includes a series of online, face-to-face literacy, numeracy and media literacy strategic approaches to learning. These are continually updated, and refined as a result of initial pilot studies.

Our curriculum development advisors are experts from a range of educational backgrounds, including University of Western Sydney's Associate Professor Kaye Shumack/School of Communication Arts and Australian Catholic University's Associate Professor Peter Howard/ Institute for Advancing Community Engagement.

Collaboration with the WESTPAC Group

We have also developed a specific nationwide program for the Westpac Group. It supports their Reconciliation Action Plan through encouraging young Aboriginal people into careers in banking.

Enhancing Cultural Knowledge and Identity

We work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education/employment authorities and organisations
This includes consultations with the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

Supporting Learning Transitions

SMTW provides multi-platform delivery of face to face video workshops and online mentoring to support learning transitions as an add-on program for Indigenous students at all levels of their school education. This objective aligns with the following policy excerpts:

1.12 "It is the goal of the Department, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will match or better the outcomes of the broader student population."

Priority Area: Aboriginal Education and Training Outcomes:

■ By the year 2012, Aboriginal student outcomes will match or better outcomes of the broader student population

■ Teaching and learning strategies strengthened through the implementation of quality evidence based programs and initiatives

■ Increased proportion of Aboriginal students completing Year 12 or recognised vocational training

■ Increased Aboriginal parental engagement in supporting their child’s learning.

Supporting Learning Pathways

SMTW students will have more opportunities to engage with the vocational education and training sector, universities and workplaces as a result of their participation in and completion of the SMTW program.

1.4 The Department will improve lifelong learning pathways for Aboriginal learners. This will include transitions:
•    through primary and secondary education
•    from school into further study and employment
•    through vocational education and training and other pathways into further study or sustainable employment.


(NSW DET Office of Schools Plan 2009 – 2011

SMTW uses a guided pathway, catering to the individual student's needs. The student's participation in the production of videos on careers and trades, mentoring via the internet and uploading students' stories engages the student to the importance and relevance of education.
This objective aligns with the following policy excerpts:

NSW DET- "Our 15 to 19 Year Olds – Opportunities & Choice": A Profile of the 15-19 Cohort

"Increasingly, young adults use a number of different technologies simultaneously to communicate, access information and for entertainment" and "Learning environments and programs must cater for young adults maturing at different rates, and for their vastly differing backgrounds, abilities, aspirations, values and preferred ways of doing things."


The New South Wales School Leaving Age Initiative: Maximising the potential of our young people (Community Consultation Report, September 2008)

"...if we are to keep students at school until 17 years, student engagement needs to be addressed earlier.
Numerous submissions stressed the importance of early childhood education in this respect, and it was widely agreed that engagement must be addressed before the final years of high school."


Links to Employment

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) aims to increase career outcomes for Indigenous people and to assist the inclusion of Indigenous people in the commercial world.
We work closely with the AES and our corporate partners in providing opportunities for our school-based trainees to get world experience to future employment.


Young Indigenous people engage with technology easily and rapidly.  Students are supplied with a laptop and broadband access so they can use the SMTW website both at school and home. The site encourages students to use the technologies and improve their literacy and numeracy skills.  Participation in quizzes and comprehension tests about Indigenous role model videos on the site and the uploading of students’ own videos and photos is constantly rewarded. Role model videos tell the stories of Indigenous men and women who have become successful in their professions and trades through a good education.  Similar to a frequent-flyer program: students work towards flash drives, music CDs, DVDs, mp3 players, printers, digital cameras and other technologies and entertainment.


The SMTW site is dynamic with regular news, events and role model interviews. Similar to Myspace, YouTube and Twitter, Show Me The Way offers a social network for Indigenous students to upload their photos, videos and personal profiles. A chat room provides peer support.
Online mentoring is available for additional support. These mentors or learning partners are matched to meet individual needs


Students produce their own videos on professions and trades. This helps to develop critical thinking as they go through the procesess of researching and making mini documentaries. They have a learning partner that will support and believe in them


With the support of Show Me The Way, students will find direction with short and long-term goals. They will discover how important education is in having a rewarding and successful future.


The 12 weeks pilot program conducted in 2010, was extremely successful producing high levels of engagement from students  with twelve of the fourteen students, from the Exodus Foundation in Redfern and James Busby High School in Green Valley, Sydney.,  attended the graduation lunch.

Exodus Youth, Exodus Foundation, Redfern, NSW
Exodus Youth is based in Redfern and supports the education of Indigenous students in its learning centres. Show Me The Way has supported Exodus in providing learning partners to students to get a world-view of the relevance and importance of education.

James Busby High School, Green Valley, Sydney NSW
James Busby High School is a public school in Sydney’s South-Western Suburbs. Following the trial with James Busby students in 2010, Show Me The Way will continue to support the students and expand the program to include new students.
Learning partners (mentors), from the corporate law firms Allens Arthur Robinson and Minter Ellison,  provided training in Indigenous cultural issues and other social issues specific to the cohort.

In 2011 SMTW has conducted a national program in partnership with the Westpac Group. A custom-built secure website has been produced for school based trainees to meet online with WESTPAC learning partners. These student trainees make the site their own by uploading their images and thoughts: similar to Facebook and YouTube but uniquely Aboriginal.  
A students’ discussion page is the forum for peer support and a learning partner discussion page supports the learning partners with specific issues that emerge during the program.

Show Me The Way runs face-to-face video workshops with the students around careers and trades. The students then produce day-in-the-life videos on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander role models.

Final versions of the quality videos can be viewed at-

30 minutes per fortnight is the minimum time for online mentoring. Extra time is given for uploading still pictures, answering online quizzes and writing essays on careers or trades.

The learning partners and students are measured on the following key performance indicators


Linking trainees and Learning Partners: Shared Commitment

Students make contact with their learning partner every fortnight at a specified time. Having the same learning partner means students have continuity in approach. The learning partner is aware of the development of each student’s performance in relation to the project. They provide hard data back to SMTW to fine-tune the program through progress notes sent via the site.

‘Closing the Gap’: Learning Outcomes

SMTW helps close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait students’ school  attendance, retention, literacy and numeracy statistics by empowering students with resources and a culturally appropriate space. Within this social networking site students are able to communicate and develop relationships with peers and discuss educational aspirations on a platform both socially relevant and enjoyable.
This is a technology-based delivery system that provides flexible learning modules that increase the students’ capacity to reach their potential and gain the qualifications of a higher school certificate and pathways to further education and careers.

Students have access to online learning partners who help facilitate students continued engagement in learning. The Show Me The Way role model videos sustain students’ engagement to develop interests in particular vocations, career direction, employment  and life choices.


Chris Maguire
Chris is the general manager of Show Me The Way. In this role, he has coordinated the creation and delivery of online mentoring for Aboriginal students. He has delivered face-to-face training for school students, teachers and corporate learning partners.
Refer to
Chris has worked extensively in television and corporate video productions for over twenty years. In 2005 he completed a Masters of Multimedia Design at the University of Sydney.
In 2003, as producer/director and scriptwriter, Chris produced “Get It On”, a safe sex education resource video/DVD for Indigenous teenagers for NSW Dept of Education. As producer/director and cameraman Chris made a fundraiser video/DVD for the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.
In 2011, Chris produced and directed “Older Australians: Valuing the Hidden Treasures”, for the Australian Catholic University and St Vincent De Paul. This was a series of videos examining how tertiary institutions can support marginalised older Australians back into community through education and the rich experience these people have to offer.

Lola Forester
Lola is one of Australia's most experienced Aboriginal broadcasters. She is co-host on the World Music program "Roots Music" on NITV and sits on the board of Music NSW. For 18 years she was the Executive Producer/Presenter of the Aboriginal Program at SBS Radio.
She was winner of the 2003 Deadly Broadcaster of the Year Award for her contribution to the media industry. Lola has worked for SBS Television on the production teams of The Noise, Eat Carpet and Hotline and as a reporter on First in Line, the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander television program to go to air.
She also worked as senior researcher on NITV's current affairs program "Momentum". Lola was chairperson for Bangarra Dance Theatre throughout its first six years. She has run cultural awareness training programs with the community and corporate sector across Australia. Over her working career Lola has mentored many young people helping to guide their careers.
Lola gives her time speaking at many events informing and educating peoples about Aboriginal Australia whether it be locally, nationally as well as internationally.
Lola believes that knowledge is strength and will continue to help in the struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.
Lola is the chair of Show Me The Way.

Dr Peter Howard
Associate Prof. Peter Howard has been involved in Indigenous education for more than twenty five years. He has worked in rural and urban New South Wales in developing Aboriginal teacher education programs, working with schools and communities.
He has a strong belief in enhancing the capacity of young Aboriginal people through education and in partnering them in their learning to reach their potential.

Peter has worked with Aboriginal people in developing presentations at national and international conferences to raise awareness of issues and ways in which educational challenges can be overcome.

His doctoral studies were in the socio-cultural aspects of Aboriginal children's learning of mathematics and he has continued to work with Aboriginal communities, schools and studentsin bringing about a stronger relevance and connectedness to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

In recent years he has worked on community capacity projects, the transition to school of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, connecting Aboriginal people to other Indigenous people internationally and evaluating the outcomes of mathematical programs developed for Indigenous students.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor at the Australian Catholic University often travelling to regional and remote communities in New South Wales and overseas to New Zealand, Philippines and Ireland.

Show Me The Way


To self-empower Indigenous students to understand what's involved in developing a career path in conjunction with learning partners with real world experience.


Students will develop a deeper understanding of specific careers and the educational pathways needed to achieve career goals.
Students will gain an insight into the stages of media production that takes place in a real world context.
Their completed short video works will be shown on the SMTW campaign web site.


Students’ outcomes

•    Students will learn to research on the Internet, by newspaper and phone.
•    how career paths function and educational requirements for career paths.
•    how to present findings from their research to their peer group.
•    basic practical skills in video production such as introductions to time management, camera operating and framing, interview techniques and editing, roles and structures within production teams.

Learning partners’ outcomes

•    The learning partner helps enable a young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person realise their dreams and ambitions

•    The learning partner develops valuable networks as they share experiences with their peers

Integral Use of Technology: connecting people and realising potential

An online multiple-choice questionnaire is provided for learning partners to deliver the program’s competency goals. The aim is to provide a seamless set of learning materials to guide and support both students and learning partners.

Role model videos made by the students support the learnings of the 12-month program and local heroes are featured.
Learning materials to support and guide this outcome include;
Technical skills in lighting, camera, sound and basic editing
Communication research and story-telling skills
Basic script design for visual (video) editing suitable for using specific-user video editing software.

The videos are then uploaded to the SMTW resources section of the student web site to assist future students with making informed decisions about careers and trades.

© 2011 Show Me the Way

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Contact details

Show Me The Way

ABN 52 267 505 507

CFN 20362

26 Hill Street
NSW 2205
Phone: 02 8509 5913


International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples


The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

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