Future Footprints

The Future Footprints program is an initiative of AISWA that began in 2004. The program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students who have chosen to attend one of the 18 participating schools in Perth. 

The primary goal of the program is to ensure positive engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the education system, to enhance their sense of belonging and self-worth within the education system, and provide students with the confidence, knowledge, and skills to succeed. Future Footprints is based on an Aboriginal Family Model, of peer support and leadership.

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Future Footprints is a well-established partnership between students, schools, parents, communities, and sponsors. The broad aim of the program is to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and enhance their opportunities post-school to further education, training, and/or employment.

Contact Us
Lead Aboriginal Education Consultant
Andrew Beck
0427 663 035  
Aboriginal Education Consultant
Kristy Ninyette
0437 522 317
Future Footprints Events

Each year Future Footprints coordinates a number of initiatives and events that bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from participating schools. Future Footprints has also assisted schools in establishing their own school-based programs, which form an important part of the schools' culture and foster great pride within the Independent School community.

Future Footprints seeks and appreciates support from companies, universities or organsiations willing to donate towards events and sponsor prizes and awards.

Welcome to Country


Every February, Future Footprints coordinates a cultural event to welcome students back to school and to Noongar Boodja [Perth). In 2024 it will be held on 11th February, Poolgarla Parkland, Kaarta Gar-up.

In 2023 we celebrated the return of this long-awaited event and continued the tradition of celebrating Aboriginal culture at Kaarta Gar-up [Kings Park] in February. The ceremony involves students, staff, and families who attend to honor the land and Indigenous culture. Noongar elder Professor Simon Forrest and community leader Aunty Vivienne Hansen led a meaningful Welcome to Country and Smoking ceremony. Local traditional dancers engaged students in separate gender-specific dance routines, symbolising unity and shared heritage. This year we wanted to foster cultural understanding, pride, and a sense of belonging, especially for those students who are not from Noonga Boodja [Perth].

The successful event demonstrated the resilience and unity of the Indigenous community and left a lasting impact on the students.

Careers Expo

The Future Footprints Careers Expo is a unique event designed to give career advice and planning exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, setting it apart from other career expos.

However, what truly distinguishes our expo is that we extend invitations to students from all year levels, ranging from 7 to 12. By welcoming students early on in their high school careers, we aim to provide them with exposure to various career options and opportunities at an earlier stage.

Planning is crucial for a successful transition into a career, and our expo offers access not only to numerous pathways and careers but also to accommodation and scholarship options, fully preparing students for life after school. We make sure to host a diverse range of exhibitors, including universities, registered training organisations, companies, tertiary accommodation providers, scholarship providers, and extra-curricular activity opportunities, to provide students with a comprehensive array of choices. This expo serves as an effective tool for schools to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in making well-informed career decisions.

Additionally, through the Future Footprints Careers Expo, students can connect with tertiary students and role models who have already completed their degrees, encouraging them to consider post-secondary training or employment from an early age. A core outcome of the Future Footprints program is to develop partnerships between schools, higher education institutions, and trade and training providers, ensuring the provision of career development information and supporting students with opportunities and guidance for vocational pathways.

Through the years

2019 - Careers Expo was possible with generous financial support from Woodside.

2020 - Careers Expo has unfortunately been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

2021 - Year 12 students participated in an online Careers Expo on May 17-19.

2022 - The first year we decided not to run the event, mainly due to the pandemic and funding.

2023 - The Careers Expo was successfully hosted at UWA (donated space) and we had around 200 students from all year levels attend.

Black and White Social


The Black and White Social is an annual event for Future Footprints students of all ages to gather and socialise with each other. This allows students to develop new friendships and a broader support network in Perth.

The Black and White social is based on the values of the Coolbaroo Club; an Aboriginal social club established to counter prejudice and segregation from 1946-1960. ‘Coolbaroo’ is a Yamatji word for magpie, which was adopted, to sum up, the idea of bringing people together from different backgrounds in a friendly, inclusive atmosphere.

This event is uasually held in September.

Year 12 Graduation Dinner


This is a celebration Dinner in collaboration with MADALAH, an organisation that provides scholarships for some of our students who attend our schools. By partnering with MADALAH we are able to celebrate and recognise the success of all students graduating Year 12. 

We ask that schools host the event and we include Awards of Excellence with prizes. These prizes recognise students who have gone above and beyond during their education. 

The dinner is a highlight of the year and a fantastic culmination of a student's time at school. It is important to gather Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students together to recognise their success, and every year we see the number of students graduating grow!

NAIDOC Week Events


NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the important issues and events for NAIDOC Week.

Each year Future Footprints assists its participating schools with various activities, assemblies, and celebrations as part of NAIDOC week. As NAIDOC week falls during the school holidays, schools choose their own week to celebrate; at the end of term 2 or start of term 3. Future Footprints supports and encourages students to have input and take leadership over the schools NAIDOC events. Future Footprints will guide students in designing and creating a personalised art work such sand mural to make sure that the designs are culturally appropriate for the land on which it is being created and as well culturally appropriate for the culture of that student. 

More information on NAIDOC week can be found on their website



The end of May is a very significant week in the Australian calendar. The 26th of May is National Sorry Day and the week following is National Reconciliation Week.

Perth has a huge community celebration where schools are invited to attend a gathering in Wellington Square hosted by Reconciliation WA. Many schools also plan their own events and ceremonies with smoking ceremonies, inviting Elders to schools, and projects such as the Sea of Hands and other respectful and meaningful activities.

More information about National Reconciliation Week can be found on their website.

Reconciliation Action Plans

A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation. A school can develop a RAP using the Narragunnawali platform to register and extend on existing initiatives or to begin a new journey. RAP Actions are the commitments included in the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) each of which relates to relationships, respect and opportunities.

The Narragunnawali program by Reconciliation Australia has a lot of resources for schools on implementing reconciliation in their community.

Cultural Support Networks

Many people work togtehre to support Future Footprints students, families, communities and schools.

Support for Students and Families 


Future Footprints is a well-established partnership between students, schools, parents and communities. The program is well known to parents and communities and is viewed very positively. The involvement of parents and community is a valued and important feature of the Future Footprints program and contributes to the effective support of students.

Future Footprints have created a culturally safe space for students to gather, explore and share their experiences, stories, culture, and establish connections with students from other schools. This support aims to build and maintain cultural resilience, cultural confidence, and cultural esteem in students.

Future Footprints works closely with schools so not to duplicate what the school offers, but compliments and enhances the support provide by the school. Future Footprints also provides pastoral care for students and families ‘outside the school gate’ – providing additional support to help families navigate the education system. This support is offered via individual support to students and families, in person, by phone or social media, group support to students, group support to families by phone or when on regional visits.

Support for School Coordinators


A network of Coordinators from each school’s Aboriginal program has been developed with regular communication between Future Footprints and the coordinator. In addition, a forum is held once per term to plan events, share ideas and to discuss any issues or concerns.

The Network Meetings serve as a means of providing information to schools on a range of topics. Guest speakers are invited where appropriate.

These meetings are an avenue to facilitate or provide Professional Learning to teaching and support staff as required. They also assist schools in accessing information on best practice, including other programs and services. In addition, coordinators facilitate network meetings/forums with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisors in each school as required.

Support from Key Service Providers


Future Footprints is committed to building support networks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and schools on the program.

In establishing these networks we realise the full value we add to the program. Future Footprints and others are key service providers providing direct support services and programs to Indigenous secondary students who attend schools across the Perth metropolitan region; and each, through their respective programs and services, have established strong support networks with both their partner schools and students alike.

Boarding School Life

It's a big step to leave home to spend time at boarding school for any student. Please access this PowerPoint, 'So Your Child Wants To Go To Boarding School'. Here are some FAQs about boarding school for in-coming Future Footprints students.

What do I need to apply for boarding?


To submit the application, the student/parent/guardian should have ready:

  • Student’s Birth Certificate

  • Student’s dental and hearing records

  • Student’s immunisation records

  • School reports / NAPLAN results

  • Proof of Aboriginality letter

  • Any religious ceremony records

  • Student’s awards

  • Any relevant court documents 

What documents do I need to bring?


Medicare Card for them individually

  • There is a form specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that can be found here

Tax File Number (TFN)

  • There is a form specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that can be ordered online here by searching the form number: NAT1589-07.2016
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander form can also be ordered over the phone by calling the ATO on 13 10 30 for the Aboriginal Hotline and asking for the form number: NAT1589-07.2016
  • This TFN is required by ABSTUDY once a student turns 16 or they will no longer receive the payments

Bank/EFTPOS Card for them and pocket money

Nominated Guardian in Perth in case of an emergency

How do I choose a boarding school?


It is very important when choosing a boarding school to keep the needs and personality of the child in mind. Not every school is right for every student, and not every student is right for every school.

It is best to start making enquiries when the child is in Year 5, in order to get on waiting lists and have time to explore the options. It is also a good idea to apply at more than one school to keep options open.

Future Footprints supports 18 schools that have Boarding options. These are not the only options, as there are other schools with Boarding in Perth and in Regional areas. You can find AISWA schools that have boarding in the Search for a School function.

Scholarships are available for eligible students. These can come from the School itself, a third-party provider, or from some Land Councils and Trusts. Some scholarship providers will only award a scholarship once a student has been accepted by the school.

Participating Schools

Aquinas College

Carmel Adventist College

Christ Church Grammar School                 

Guildford Grammar School

Hale School

Mazenod College

Methodist Ladies' College

Perth College

Penrhos College

PLC - Gorna Liyarn Program

Santa Maria College

Scotch College

SEDA College

St Brigid’s College

St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls               

St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School

Trinity College

Wesley College Moorditj Mob

There are 18 participating schools in the Future Footprints Program that receive dedicated support from the team. 

Many participating Future Footprints schools host a number of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs, cultural events, and performance groups. These programs are an important part of the schools' culture and foster great pride within the Independent School community.