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Indigenous kids run for Prime Minister

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What would you say in your first speech if you were the Australian Prime Minister?

Curtin University's AIME mentors and mentees
Curtin University's AIME mentors and mentees

It’s a question that AIME mentor Marlee Hutton put to her group of high school student mentees recently.

She then told them that they would write speeches, film them and put them online to be voted on and that the best ones would get their speeches presented during the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election in Canberra.

Over 600 Indigenous high school kids from across Australia have written speeches all of which become available online today on AIME’s National Hoodie Day for people to vote on.

It’s part of The Other Election campaign run by AIME, an organisation that pairs up mentors with Indigenous high school students to help them develop a wide variety of skills, get them to finish high school and chase their dreams.

Ian Thorpe, AIME’s ambassador, is keen to get a million people to vote on the videos online.

“By voting in The Other Election we stand together with these inspirational Indigenous kids who have raised the bar to offer a vision for the future filled with hope, positivity and greatness,” said Mr Thorpe.

Ms Hutton agreed.

“It’s taken a lot of guts for these kids to get up in front of the camera and record these speeches that they have written in under an hour,” Ms Hutton said. “They have put a lot of effort into this and a lot of them have stepped out of their comfort zone to do it and it’s so inspiring and it builds their confidence when they see people voting for them.”

The national charity has connected 2000 students nationwide with 1000 university student mentors. 74 Curtin University students have stepped forward to mentor 166 high schools students since Curtin University’s AIME program began at the start of 2013. Hundreds more have applied to become mentors.

“As much as it benefits the students, you find that it benefits the mentors as well and that the mentors go along on this journey,” Ms Hutton said.

Lauren Cramb, Curtin’s Program Co-ordinator for AIME, expects even more interest from the Curtin community in the future.

“We will be expanding next year,” she said. “We are going to be doubling the program at Curtin University which means that we will need more mentors to support our mentees.”

The top ten high school students will then be flown to Sydney to work with industry partners to take part in workshops. The top three will then fly to Canberra to deliver their speeches as part of the lead up to the election in September.

You can vote for the best speech on The Other Election website.

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