Meet our Indigenous Student Programme Coordinator Micheal Spratt

Micheal Spratt is a Noongar Yamatji man with a love of Indigenous dancing and playing the didgeridoo, and he's at the heart of our thriving Indigenous Student Programme. Get to know Micheal as he explains what the Programme is all about, how he supports our Indigenous students and what's next for him and the Indigenous Programme.

Micheal, tell us about your journey to now. Where did it all begin and what were the milestones along the way?

I attended a primary school in the suburbs before studying at Wesley College until I graduated in 2014. Things clicked for me in high school, and it was a big step in becoming a young man, building confidence and discovering my identity. After graduating, I spent a gap year living in the UK. There I developed independence and learned what it was like to struggle and thrive. After my gap year, I returned to Wesley to work with their Indigenous students for five years. During that time, I grew and learned more about my culture and how to teach and share it. Some of the highlights along the way have been travelling to New York to attend the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education and showcase my culture to Indigenous people from around the world, speaking and performing with Midnight Oil for Telethon, opening for the first West Coast Eagles match at Optus Stadium and performing at the AFL Indigenous Round in Perth.

You're Scotch College's Indigenous Student Programme Coordinator. What does a day in the life of your role look like?

My role is to academically or culturally support Indigenous students here at Scotch. I bring knowledge about Indigenous culture and history to our staff and classrooms. I'd consider myself a consultant for teachers wanting to learn more or find resources to enrich their lessons. On top of this, I constantly work to grow the Indigenous Programme and help our Indigenous students to continue learning and practising their cultures.

What is the Indigenous Programme all about?

At its core, it's about helping our students to uncover and build a strong sense of identity. Growing up, I never had an opportunity to learn about my culture or have someone teach me about it until I was older. Culture is vital to who we are, particularly in those formative years, which is why I do what I do. In my role, I support our young boys to grow into people who are strong, proud of their cultures and equipped to do great things for themselves and others.

If you could give one piece of advice to the students in the Programme, what would it be?

One of the things I often mention to our students is to take advantage of opportunities – and there's plenty of these at Scotch! Many of our students have yet to discover what journey they want to take after school, and I encourage them to take advantage of these opportunities and try new things to learn more about themselves. My goal is for our students to thrive in cultures that are different to theirs and to share their own culture with others, and participating in a range of activities at school is one way of achieving this.

What's next for you and the Indigenous Programme?

The future of the Indigenous Programme is very exciting. Our students are highly involved and are encouraged to voice what they want to see in the Programme. We've started planning ideas for NAIDOC Week later in the year. Aside from that, we are looking at ways to integrate aspects of Indigenous culture with parts of Scottish life. Hint, hint: stay tuned for collaborations between the Pipe Band and the Indigenous Programme. The Programme constantly evolves and responds to what our students want to learn, so we're having fun and enjoying the journey.

Learn more about the Programme

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