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 (AM, MEdL, BPoLSc). It 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.
Girls receive intensive one-on-one mentoring and support from our team of skilled field staff, 74 percent of whom are highly accomplished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Our program increases the skills, employability, mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls around Australia – providing them with better opportunities to contribute to the social and economic outcomes of the wider community.
Girls Academy equips girls with the tools they need to engage in their education, achieve their goals and change their communities. 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.
Big 4 Objectives
Program activities are designed with emphasis on our Big 4 Objectives:
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 wellbeing, 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 wellbeing.
The Girls Academy program is community led and provides much needed support to give girls the tools they need to remove any barriers to achieving at school, finish Year 12 and go on to further study or career pathways.
Girls Academy is a timetabled program that runs within the school. The program is centred around an Academy room which acts as a sanctuary and support centre for the girls before, during and after school.
Each Academy has at least two full-time staff who work directly with the girls onsite to provide individual mentoring and support, as well as cultural connection, empowerment, sports and other extra-curricular activities.