The Girls Academy is the leading provider of school-based engagement programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in Australia.
The Girls Academy program was founded in 2004 by Olympian and champion basketballer Ricky Grace (MEdL, BPoLSc) and works within the school system to drive community-led solutions aimed at overcoming the obstacles that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls from attending and achieving at school. Academy Girls receive intensive one-on-one mentoring and support from our team of skilled field staff, 80% of which are highly accomplished Indigenous women.
Our program increases the skills, employability, mental health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls throughout Australia – providing them with better opportunities to contribute to the social and economic outcomes of the wider community.
Academy girls are ready to make an economic contribution to our nation and to be part of the social change that is Closing the Gap. The Girls Academy equips girls with the tools they need to engage in their education, achieve their goals and change their communities.
Our mission put simply is to Develop a Girl • Change a Community.
Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander girls face some of the greatest social disadvantage of our nations population. This gap appears in health, education, employment opportunities, earning capacity and life span. Women play a pivotal role in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, yet their needs are often overlooked more than their male counterparts.
A confident, educated Indigenous girl is an active and productive community member. She is the most influential force in her family and wider community to break the cycle of disadvantage and to build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future.
Program activities are designed with emphasis on the ‘Big 4’ objectives to:
- Increase school attendance
- Advance academic and personal achievement
- Improve year 12 graduation rates, and
- Facilitate post-school transition planning
We want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to be empowered and motivated to achieve educational success, which in turn results in improved outcomes for their health, emotional well-being, employment opportunities and life expectancy.
We want this success to be passed down from generation to generation, ultimately CLOSING THE GAP that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian measures of well-being.