Presented by Monica Magann
Careers Counsellor and Indigenous Student Coordinator, Prince Alfred College
4 Aboriginal students. 2 schools. 1 BIG dream to meet President Obama. What happened when we put these together? The Nation2Nation Cultural Exchange Pilot Program was created and we were invited to The White House.
Our Aboriginal students wanted to be leaders: ambassadors for their culture, country and their schools. They wanted to discover more about their culture and share their stories with American Indians. They connected with the purpose of fostering understanding, promoting diversity, and building respect. The students also embarked on a meaningful career development discovery. The itinerary included meeting the Congressman and congresswoman who Co-Chair the Congressional Native American Caucus. Students had a private tour of Capitol Hill, met with Human Rights Watch and with the International Center of Transitional Justice. This story is about overcoming obstacles and dreams coming true.
It is important in this day and age where Aboriginal students are a minority group in many schools that school leadership works together with partners to create connections and opportunities for them. For Aboriginal students to meet with policy makers, elders and take up the mantle of leadership earlier, rather than later, is very important. Too often the focus for leadership is projected into the future – into adulthood. Adults often say “Young People are the leaders of tomorrow”. We must remember that they are leaders today.
Monica Magann is commencing her third year as Indigenous Student Support Coordinator at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, where she also works as a Careers Counsellor. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Education (Career Dev), Diploma of Business (HR), and a Certificate IV in Marketing and in Career Development.
Originally from Canada, she joined a communications theatre company in Los Angeles after high school and travelled around the world, prior to settling down in Australia. She regularly contribute careers content to Adelaide’s premier newspaper “The Advertiser” and had her own careers advice radio show that aired for three years. In addition to her work at Prince Alfred College, she worked in private practice and for government with mature aged clients, including those with complex barriers to finding employment. In 2010 she won the Miles Morgan Australia Excellence in Career Development in the Community Award (Youth). She coordinated its roll-out and was directly involved in providing training and individual one-on-one career development case management. A majority of her participants had left year 11 and struggled with issues including a lack of finances, depression, anxiety, pressure from family and lack of career direction.