Up to 200 additional Aboriginal boys will get the mentoring and support they need to complete their secondary education, after the State Government provided new funding to the Clontarf Foundation to run its academies program.
Announced by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery at Ellenbrook Secondary College today, the $30 million five-year deal will see the continuation of the program, with an expansion into four additional schools – two in Perth and two in the regions.
There are 26 academies currently operating at Western Australian public schools with a total of 30 from next year.
The four new schools are Ellenbrook Secondary College, Belmont City College, Collie Senior High School and Narrogin Senior High School. Work will begin in 2020 towards establishing the new academies.
Each of the four schools will provide an opportunity for up to 50 students.
The program complements schools’ efforts to support the boys developing the values, skills and abilities to complete school, move into meaningful jobs and have better life opportunities.
Academy staff tap into teenage boys’ enthusiasm for sport to initially encourage them to go to school, and then to keep them attending.
Full-time, locally based Clontarf staff mentor and counsel students on a range of behavioural and lifestyle issues and school staff cater for their education needs.
The Clontarf Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that started in WA in 2000 and assists in the education and employment of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. It now has academies across Australia.
As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
“Providing young Aboriginal people with the best possible education, life and leadership skills is a vitally important endeavour.
“I was pleased to secure this funding for the Clontarf Foundation to run and expand on its programs, reaching more students – and spurring them on to persevere, be resilient and succeed.”
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“This funding allows the Clontarf Foundation to continue their work which is providing young Aboriginal men with the foundations for success.
“The value of this program is not only to the individual but also to the broader community which is an ethos strongly supported by the McGowan Government.”
As stated by Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw:
“The Clontarf Foundation does fantastic work to improve the life outcomes for disadvantaged kids right around Australia.
“We have a very high proportion of Aboriginal youth in Ellenbrook.
“I am thrilled our kids will now have access to a program that is going to significantly improve their school attendance, learning and life outcomes.”
As stated by Clontarf Chief Executive Officer Gerard Neesham:
“The Clontarf Foundation is delighted with the State Government’s announcement of four new academies in Western Australia.
“This partnership is now delivering programs to over 2,200 Western Australian Aboriginal young men with excellent results in attendance, Year 12 completion and entry into employment and further training.
“We are very excited about the new locations and are looking forward to getting down to work with the new schools to establish these programs during 2020.”