Hundreds of young Indigenous Queenslanders will continue to be supported to re-engage with school, thanks to a $17 million investment by the Palaszczuk Government.
Education Minister Grace Grace today announced continuing partnerships with the Clontarf Foundation, Stars Foundation, Brisbane Broncos and Netball Queensland to support their work in 42 schools from Far North Queensland to the south-east corner.
“Partnerships like these are successfully mentoring and coaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support them to attend school and participate actively in learning,” Ms Grace said.
“This in turn expands the options for our young Indigenous Queenslanders in finding work and progressing to further training and education.
“Investing in these programs is a no-brainer because they are making a big difference to the lives and futures of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.”
The Government is providing a total of $16.9 million to the four organisations.
Clontarf programs started in Queensland with eight academies in the Darling Downs region in 2015 and now operate in 24 academies across the state, supporting more than 2400 young men, including 220 Year 12 students.
Clontarf Foundation’s CEO Gerard Neesham said the announcement was fantastic news for the young men currently enrolled in the program.
“Additionally, it will allow the Foundation to explore potential new schools and communities who may benefit from hosting a Clontarf academy,” he said.
“The program provides young men with access to full-time, locally based Clontarf mentors who run highly engaging programs of activity which focus on education, leadership, wellbeing, employment and sport.”
Netball Queensland was equally pleased, with CEO Catherine Clark commending the Palaszczuk Government for the commitment to the Diamond Spirit program.
“Through the support of Education Queensland and our partner schools, Diamond Spirit has already made a tangible difference to the lives of students within the program,” Ms Clark said.
“Since 2017, more than 600 students have received direct support, ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across some of our most remote communities are afforded every possible opportunity on their learning journey.”
CEO and Stars Founder Andrea Goddard said the organisation was grateful for the opportunity to continue providing intensive support to First Nations girls and young women.
“We use a strengths-based model, specifically tailored to meet the needs of First Nations girls and young women, with the aim of promoting positive education, employment and life outcomes,” she said.
Brisbane Bronco’s Chairman Karl Morris said the big winners from the announcement were young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the program.
“Our passionate and highly skilled mentors will work in schools to encourage girls to reach their full potential and prepare for their post-school futures,” he said.