About Us

About Us

Our Work

Show Me The Way, through custom designed film workshops and mentoring, creates the space for students to appreciate the relevance of formal education and thrive. With the help of industry professionals the students make short documentary films capturing life experiences and achievements of local heroes who are inspiring people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and refugee backgrounds.

These films are shown at special film screenings at different venues such as the State Library of NSW and the Whitlam Institute, as well as being distributed across Australia. A total of 77 broadcast quality films have been produced since 2008.

Our featured work content pieces
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First Nations

High schools and corporate partners work together with Show Me The Way to develop programs that encourage students to fulfil their potential. Show Me The Way’s programs have assisted high school students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds in creating highly polished documentaries on local heroes within their communities which explore cultural beliefs. The storytelling and cross cultural mentoring provides students with confidence and the ability to see the importance of education.

Show Me The Way has also worked with the Westpac Group with the retention and engagement of their school based trainees, increasing retention by 72% over previous years. Forty-six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander films have been produced so far and these are held in public, state, territories, and the National Library of Australia for all to be inspired by.

Refugees

Refugee students produced a series of short documentaries that share the heart-warming and inspiring stories of their new and unfolding lives in Sydney’s West.

Working in groups as part of a 10 week program students developed their camera, editing and narrative skills. The short films acknowledge the persistence and courage of the subjects and present a myth-busting collection of the lives of refugees in Australia.

The films were made possible through Show Me the Way Refugee programs established with Western Sydney High Schools since 2014. The program gives students access to mentors from corporate Australia, the opportunity to spend a few days at the Whitlam Institute inside Western Sydney University, and to tell a story that is their legacy from the program.

Our Impact

Show Me The Way makes a significant difference in the lives of Australian Youth. Supporting disadvantaged youth in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and refugee communities to continue education and celebrate their cultural heritage.

Our impact featured film
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Over 70 schools across Australia have participated in our film workshops and mentoring programs.

We’ve supported students to make over 100 documentary films which are now held in the National, States and Territories, and public libraries across Australia.

There was a 72% increase in school retention of indigenous school-based trainees at Westpac Group after we commenced our national program.

Student Testimonials

“Show Me The Way opened a huge door for me to the banking world. I’m now on the Westpac Graduate program working at Westpac and at university studying a Bachelor of Management.”

Orian, Westpac Graduate, Show Me The Way Graduate from Show Me The Way – Westpac program

“Learned many things about education, about universities and enrolment, which subjects should I choose, what should I do to get to my goals”

Samina, Show Me The Way Graduate from Show Me The Way – Parramatta program

“It was really good the motivation and encourament they gave us. It was really crucial and imporatant and helpful”

Mohamed, Show Me The Way Graduate from Show Me The Way – Fairfield program

“It was an awesome experience and I started learning how to communicate with adults.”

Bashir, Show Me The Way Graduate from Show Me The Way – Parramatta program

“The experience I had changed my attitude and personality. It turned me into a whole new person. I felt like I achieved something for a life time. I would like to thank Show Me The Way for helping me find who I am.”

Margaret, Show Me The Way Graduate from Show Me The Way – Become a Teacher program

School Impact

“There has been an increased self-esteem and self-confidence with all students as they journeyed through the program. I… was impressed with the quality outcomes and the aspirational opportunity provided by SMTW for students to visit the university”.

Charles Borg– Principal, Fairfield High School

“Show Me the Way is an innovative strategy supporting the educational and wellbeing needs of students from refugee backgrounds. Students gained skills in communication, questioning and seeking information and it challenged students to think about long term goals and aspirations. The strategy celebrates success and gives students a sense of belonging and achievement. This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students at Fairfield High School.”

Sherin Nair– Refugee Support Leader, Fairfield High School

72% Increase in School Retention

Show Me The Way worked with Westpac Group on their Indigenous Australians program supporting school based traineeships. When Show Me The Way / Westpac the retention of trainees increased by 72%.

Vision

Show Me The Way Vision

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“I have watched this program grow from a kernel of an idea to a fully functional successful program, and yet there is more to do, so much more to do. I commend Show Me the Way for its inspiration and empowerment of young people and know that in time we will wonder how we lived without it.”

Kathryn Greiner AO, Patron of Show Me The Way and Gonski Review panelist

It is the vision of Show Me The Way to engage young people, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and those from refugee backgrounds, with videos that provide direction and positive messages. Students produce their own videos on professions and trades. This helps to develop critical thinking as they go through the processes of researching and making mini documentaries.

Young people are encouraged by Show Me The Way to take responsibility for their own learning to foster their creative and critical thinking and promote intercultural understanding.

Show Me The Way focusses upon youth and building capacity for employment through strengthening knowledge, building skills, developing self-esteem and confidence as well as, most importantly, establishing and developing interpersonal relationships.

Show Me The Way contributes to a more inclusive society through highlighting and demonstrating the achievements of Australians from diverse backgrounds.

It is the long term intention of Show Me The Way to support all Australians experiencing social isolation or disadvantage in accessing education.

Show Me The Way is a registered Not for Profit organization and audited annually by KPMG.

Leadership

Meet the Show Me The Way team and get to know a little bit more about us!


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Brendan Littlechild

Chair

Brendan was born in Wynyard on the North-West Coast of Tasmania. A proud member and descendent of the Narrunga people from the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, his mother was born and raised in the Aboriginal community of Point Pearce.

He has extensive experience in supporting the design, implementation and monitoring of Reconciliation Action Plans and currently sits on the following working groups:

  1. Westpac Indigenous Advisory Group
  2. Australia Post RAP Advisory Group, and previously,
  3. Reconciliation Australia: Building Workplace Capability Framework ATSI Advisory Group (2013/2014)

Brendan’s personal strengths include relationship building, stakeholder /client management, leadership, design & implementation of Indigenous programs, community engagement, strategy and innovation.

Wayne McEwen

Deputy Chair

Wayne McEwen is a proud member of the Bundjalung peoples from the far North Coast of NSW. Wayne’s professional background has been built around the pillars of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment, Education, Health and Arts, within various Aboriginal communities across Australia. His employment background has also provided him with a unique blend of industry knowledge and extensive networks across Australia, from working within Aboriginal community organisations, public/private sectors, and higher education system.

Wayne’s passion stems from a holistic approach to essentially guide others to develop their educational/career aspirations, so they can ultimately reach their goals within their communities.

Geoff Sentence

Treasurer

Geoff is a Wiradjuri man and his mob are from Mudgee NSW.

Geoff was born in Sydney and raised on the north coast in Kempsey, NSW.

In September 1979, he joined the Army and served for 15 Years. He did a tour of Butterworth – Malaysia. There his role was to guard the RAAF base and he engaged and came to appreciate and value the views of different cultures.

After the Army, Geoff has spent most of his adult working life in government and community organisations in Brisbane, Newcastle and Canberra.

Geoff’s passion is to help build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, businesses and organisations by utilising networks, negotiation and training while retaining our culture. He’s been a Director of Ngambril Local Aboriginal Land Council and Chairperson of SEARMS (South Eastern Aboriginal Regional Management Services Aboriginal Corporation) at Batemans Bay in NSW. Geoff believes everyone has value and it’s upon us, communities and society to have the capability to enable communities and individual to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

Geoff believes in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people being empowered to take control and be leaders to future generations around Australia.

Alicia Ball

Communications and Marketing

Alicia is a proud descendant of the Darkinjung people. She has a background in fine arts and education. Alicia spent the beginning of her career teaching Visual Arts in a number of high schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. She now works as a freelance designer and at the University of Western Sydney lecturing for the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communications) degree.

Through her experience as an educator she has developed a strong understanding of the issues and barriers that many youth face. Alicia is a proud advocate for youth of all backgrounds and has a passion for supporting disadvantaged youth to rise up to their full potential.

Using her creative skills, Alicia supports SMTW by designing marketing material for products developed by students participating in the SMTW programs.

Lindie Matthews

Education Consultant

Lindie has been an educator for 25 years having worked in a range of educational setting as a teacher and education consultant. Lindie began her career in South Western Sydney, where she developed a strong understanding of the student diversity in Western Sydney Schools. She currently works in a distance education setting with students who often have a range of significant support needs and where personalised learning is paramount. Lindie has worked with students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds and a range of culturally and linguistically diverse and refugee backgrounds throughout her career as a teacher. In her teaching practice, Lindie has championed equity in and access to education for all students. Lindie brings her expertise in developing learning programmes that align with the National Curriculum to SMTW. She also consults with SMTW on government and school policies and procedures pertaining to their programs.

Chris Maguire

CEO and Public Officer

Chris has worked extensively in supporting students experiencing disadvantage in accessing education. As well as supervising the design and delivery of film workshops, cutting-edge mentoring environments and face to face events, Chris has been a field producer and lighting cameraman through television and corporate video productions for over thirty years. In 2005 he completed a Masters of Multimedia Design at the University of Sydney.

In 2003, as producer/director and scriptwriter, Chris produced “Get It On”, a safe sex education resource video/DVD for Indigenous teenagers for NSW Dept of Education. As producer/director and cameraman Chris also made a fundraising film for the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association to raise money for Indigenous secondary students to further their education and get into medicine.

With a film background, Chris has worked on news and current affairs, sports, drama, light entertainment and educational programs for ABC and SBS.

History

Learn about our history

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2006

  • Show Me The Way(SMTW) was founded
  • 2008

  • A program supporting students from Exodus Youth and James Busby High School in Green Valley, Sydney connecting students with learning partners and online mentors. Supported by Allens law firm.
  • The first SMTW film produced. Alison Page, interior designer and presenter on ABC TV’s “The New Inventors” is interviewed in Sydney and Coffs Harbour, NSW.
  • 2009

  • SMTW ran a design competition for students in the Western Sydney region to design the front home page of the original website. The 2 winners received a weeks work experience from leading graphic design company, Boccalatte.
  • Films created for the Public Service showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians working for the ATO and Federal Education to be used for the recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals to the Public Service. Shot in Canberra, Darwin and NSW central coast.
  • 2010

  • SMTW Website Launch by the Hon. Linda Burney at NSW Parliament on June 23, 2010. The website has been recognized by the National Library of Australia as being of National Significance and is recorded in the online collection TROVE.
  • Second program with the Exodus Youth creating ‘role model’ films.
  • 2011 to 2014

  • Westpac Group programs. Online mentoring and 37 documentary films were created of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local heroes and Indigenous professionals working in Westpac from QLD, SA, NT and the ACT.
  • 2012 to 2013

  • NARIS – National Alliance of Remote Indigenous Schools. SMTW created two films with students from Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Students travelled by bus for 10 hours to Darwin to create documentary films of 2 teachers to promote careers in teaching to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  • 2014 to 2016

  • Worked with numerous schools in Western Sydney in conjunction with International IT corporation Verizon, providing film workshops, face to face and online mentoring.
  • 2016

  • Celebration of 10 years of SMTW and the production of over 50 films.
  • 2017

  • ‘Journey to Freedom’ DVD launched in March at the State Library by Dr Munjed Al Muderis.
  • ‘My Story Matters’ program and DVD launched in NAIDOC Week 2017 at the State Library of NSW by chair of Show Me The Way, Wayne McEwen, Bundjalung man. Short documentary stories that capture unique individuals and their successful lives.
  • New Beginnings Festival film of two artists from refugee backgrounds discussing their art. Made by students from Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design with.
  • 2017-2018

  • A major project between the Australian Museum, Walgett Community College and SMTW, with the production of films of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local heroes from the Walgett community and the Australian Museum. It has resulted in Looking Out Looking In being launched 27 June, 2018. The success of this program resulting in a 3-year commitment as part of the School’s Strategic Plan to continue the program 2018 – 2020.
  • ‘Journey to Freedom 2’ – DVD Launched in February at the State Library of NSW by Om Dungel and Maryam Ziad, community leaders and who are both from a refugee background.
  • ‘My Story Matters 2’ DVD, the second series in the collection of First Nations local hero documentary stories from across Australia launched 29 June 2018.
  • 2019

  • The inaugural Show Me The Way Day – Walgett celebration with film screening to all of school and community stakeholders took place on 10 May.
  • The first SMTW-Menindee program commenced. A special NAIDOC Week presentation of the finished films of local community members screened for community and whole of school at Menindee Central School on July 4. The program becomes part of the school’s strategic plan for the next three years.
  • ‘My Story Matters 3’ DVD, the third and final series in the collection of First Nations local hero documentary stories from across Australia launched 29 June 2018.
  • The first SMTW-Derby program commenced at the Derby District High School in the Kimberley in June. A special screening of the films took place at the school on 7 August.
  • SMTW in collaboration with participating schools now trialling education resources that align with the National Curriculum and cultural standards frameworks.