On Tuesday 25th May, students participating in Broome’s Follow The Dream program formally made their commitment to their education at a ‘Compact Signing’ event. Eighty people, including the students, their families, representatives from Broome Senior High School and St Mary’s College, the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation, and industry partner Woodside, attended the evening event at The Mangrove Hotel to participate in the Walarba Bugarri commitment to education.

Follow The Dream is a national academic enrichment program that supports Aboriginal students to complete their secondary education and move into successful post-school pathways, including university, skill training, apprenticeships and direct employment. All programs in WA are co-managed by the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation and the WA Department of Education, with Woodside also providing long-term support for programs in Broome, Karratha and Roebourne.

Rebecca O’Brien, mother of Alexandrea who joined the Follow The Dream program this year, says: “The program has helped my daughter to fully engage at school and has given her the support she needs to establish healthy study patterns. The program has made a huge difference for her as she now has the time, specialist teaching, technology and advice that she needs in order to focus and do well at school.”

Cate Sims, CEO of the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation, comments: It’s fantastic to see the commitment made by so many students in Broome and the strong level of support they receive from their families, schools, the wider community, and the program’s long-standing partner Woodside.  We all look forward to supporting the students throughout their educational journey and helping them to strive for excellence.”

Woodside’s long-term partnership (including as part of the Browse Project Partners) has been crucial to the sustainability and longevity of the Follow The Dream program in Broome. Woodside provides a range of support and funding for students as they progress through school and into their post-school pathways.

Michael Roe from Woodside comments: “Woodside is very proud to support the Follow The Dream students and help give them every opportunity to succeed at school and further education. Woodside looks forward to welcoming some of the Follow The Dream students onto its graduate program where they can progress in a range of fields, including engineering, science, corporate affairs and legal.”

The Broome Follow The Dream program currently has 119 participating students who can attend the program up to four afternoons per week after school. Follow The Dream was established at Broome Senior High School in 2006 and was later expanded to include St Mary’s College in 2011. The two schools work in partnership, with the Program Coordinators at each school working in close collaboration to ensure that every student receives the best possible support and encouragement.

After enjoying a healthy afternoon snack, students receive specialist tuition from a team of dedicated tutors, mentoring, career pathway planning, academic enrichment, and pastoral support. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a range of excursions and trips, including a Culture Camp to Port Smith and a Career Camp to Perth. This year, thirty Year 12 students are looking forward to graduating from school and moving into successful post-school pathways.

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