Batchelor Institute » Program Empowering Young Mums to Get Back to School
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Program Empowering Young Mums to Get Back to School

The Young Mums Strong Mums students during a visit to Batchelor Institute's campus

The Young Mums Strong Mums students during a visit to Batchelor Institute’s campus


Young mothers in Palmerston are being given the opportunity to continue with their education as a part of the Young Mothers Strong Mothers program.

Offering a range of services, Young Mothers Strong Mothers assists mothers under the age of 25 with attaining a Certificate II in Community Services and encourages them to imagine and create a bright future for themselves through education and skill development.

The pilot program was run in partnership between the Department of Health, Department of Education, Child Australia, YWCA Darwin and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. It is designed to support young mums who are re-engaging with the education system and is held at the Palmerston Child and Family Centre. Students are given transportation to and from the venue, breakfast and lunch, as well as care for their children on site whilst they attend their classes.

Batchelor Institute lecturer Liz Chick, who delivers the Certificate II in Community Services, has been working with the young mums since the beginning of the program.

“This course was structured in such a way that it enabled the mums to feel a sense of liberation and gave them permission to reimagine themselves as learners and teachers in their own right,” said Ms Chick.

“They are able to break down old labels placed upon them from past experiences and re-establish an image of themselves which resulted in a strong sense of empowerment and vision for a brighter future.”

As well as using the Certificate for future employment, Students can also choose to use it to complete their year 10 or to bank credit points for their NTCET

Last year saw 11 young mum complete the course. The program is set to continue in 2017, with the NT Government committing $200,000 last year to fund the program’s continuation.

This year the Young Mums Strong Mums program will aim to increase enrolments as well as provide complete wrap around support, including health services for mums and their children. There is also potential to adapt the program to other communities in the Northern Territory


Words by Chelsea Heaney.