Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big)

Nanga Mai Marri translates to ‘Dream Big’ in the traditional Aboriginal language of the Gadigal people. The program is about supporting Aboriginal high school students to develop high aspirations for their education and employment and mentoring students to achieve these goals.

The Nanga Mai Marri program aims to address two significant inequalities experienced by Aboriginal young people in Australia:

  1. Only 62% of Aboriginal high school students are completing year 12, compared to 86% of non-Aboriginal high school students in Australia.
  2. Youth unemployment is between two and three times higher for Aboriginal youth compared to non-Aboriginal youth.

The program works with students from the beginning of grade 10 until six months after they complete their HSC. This three year, long term mentoring relationship has been the foundation to the Nanga Mai Marri program’s success.

The program is currently mentoring over 80 participants from schools including Alexandria Park Community School, Matraville Sports High School, Tempe High School, J.J. Cahill High School and South Sydney High School.

The Nanga Mai Marri program continues to achieve great outcomes for Aboriginal education and employment, including:

  • For the past three years (2015-2017), the program has achieved above a 91% success rate for participants achieving their HSC.
  • For the past three years (2014-20, more than 85% of participants have successfully transitioned into employment, training and/or tertiary education within 6 months of leaving high school. 

The Nanga Mai Marri program is delivered with the support of the Australian Federal Government.