Release type: Media Release


Paralowie - In community, by community, for community: preparing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for life beyond school

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews has launched a new video series showcasing innovative education and training programs being run nation-wide helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students successfully transition from school to work and study.

Paralowie R-12 School in Adelaide is one of 16 campuses across the state to offer the innovative South Australian Sports Training Academy (SAASTA) program. A vocational education and training (VET) transition program, it supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to achieve Certificate III in Sport and Recreation while completing their Year 12 certificate.

“I am very impressed with this program and the range of other innovative, grassroots, skills-based initiatives that are producing important results in regional areas,” Minister Andrews said.

“The Paralowie SAASTA program focuses on community engagement, aspiration, self-esteem and belonging, capitalising on the high involvement in sport of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the area.

“It is a way to engage students with school, keeping them learning and interested, preparing them for future careers and study, as well as instilling a lifelong commitment to health and healthy activity.

“An important part of this program is that students are also taught about culture and identity and learn a lot about themselves and their families, building confidence and cultural competence in the students.”

In this and other programs being showcased, students are being trained in skills that will benefit the community, and that also have a real pathway to local work. Its win-win, and part of the Government’s vision for the reinvigorated VET sector - real skills for real careers.

The video series show some best practice examples of schools, employers and community working collaboratively to transform lives and provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need for future growth.

“It is a great example of local schools, local training organisations and businesses, and local communities working together to make the most of opportunities for local students.

“I am thrilled to see programs delivered in community by community for community making a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and delivering real training for real careers,” Minister Andrews said.

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Fast facts:

  • Government has allocated around $3 billion for VET in 2018–19.

  • Includes $1.8 billion in payments to states and territories through the Skilling Australians Fund.

  • Includes $1.2 billion for the Australian Government’s own programs, such as Australia Apprenticeship Incentives Program, and Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers.

  • The National Career Education Strategy is under development.