About the presentation
The Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative has identified an array of factors implicated in remote Indigenous students’ aspiration to, and participation and retention in, school and further education. Known issues include cultural difference, history and remoteness. Others that have emerged include issues associated with what has been called ‘bothness’, or ‘rooted cosmopolitanism’. These include working at the intersection of Aboriginal and mainstream worlds, personal growth and identity politics. The issues of intersection combine to significantly enrich and yet complicate remote lives and pathways into further education. Many of the issues have been flagged by Indigenous staff and community representatives involved in the WCE initiative, who have been successful in their own educational journey and worked and/or volunteered for many years to support education in their own communities. These individuals exemplify the kind of leadership that will be needed to address the issues that arise from intersection in educational programs. This paper focuses on their negotiation of the synergies and tensions, and the beneficial effect their model can have in their communities. It considers how their approach may be embedded in future mentoring programs.