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ACIKE course reaches milestone

By Catherine Maughan

PTS graduates Amelia Kunoth-Monks, from Utopia, and Otis Pryor, from Alice Springs PTS graduates Amelia Kunoth-Monks, from Utopia, and Otis Pryor, from Alice Springs

The Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education (ACIKE) is celebrating the success of the first 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates from the Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) course.

The ACIKE partnership between Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Charles Darwin University is led by ACIKE Director Professor Steve Larkin. Professor Larkin said these latest figures were a testimony to the dedicated efforts of PTS staff.

“The PTS team provides opportunities to Indigenous people who haven’t had the opportunity to pathway into tertiary education through the normal channels. We are always thrilled when we see these outcomes because it’s not only important to the student, but also to the staff to see the rewards of their hard work,” Professor Larkin said.

PTS achieved its aim of preparing Indigenous students for tertiary education with more than three-quarters of graduates going on to further tertiary studies. Of those who continued with their education, 81% started a Bachelor degree course and 19% a VET course.

“ACIKE courses are the preferred pathway for PTS graduates with almost half transitioning into an ACIKE bachelor degree including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advocacy, Indigenous Languages and Linguistics, Education (Primary), Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) and Nursing degrees,” Professor Larkin said.

CDU courses were also popular choices and PTS graduates were studying Pharmacy, Creative Arts, Science and Environmental Science.

“PTS has deeply embedded the ‘Both-Ways’ pedagogy that values and actively includes the Indigenous knowledge and identity of the learner,” Professor Larkin said.

PTS graduate Amelia Kunoth-Monks, from Utopia in the Northern Territory, is now studying the Bachelor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advocacy with ACIKE.

“In PTS I saw where both knowledge systems could come together. I haven’t had that experience before. At high school it was hard. People didn’t want to get to know me, or what knowledge I have within me,” Amelia said.

The Preparation for Tertiary Success course is offered at Batchelor Institute in Alice Springs and CDU in Darwin for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all Australian states and Territories.