Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Indigenous leaders of tomorrow welcomed to Canberra

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

Indigenous students from across the country have converged on Parliament House today to undertake a week of work experience with the Australian Government.

The Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said theLearn. Earn. Legend! Work Experience in Government program would host 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students.

“These students are future Indigenous leaders in their communities and Australia,” Senator Arbib said.

“This week they will be inspired by the array of career opportunities that exist within Australian politics and the public service.

“Students will get to experience life in a political office, see the Australian Government in action, watch Question Time and tour Parliament House, before spending a day in public service agencies and departments.”

Ms Macklin said the program will include tours of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the Australian War Memorial and the Australian Institute of Sport.

“It is great to have the next generation of Indigenous leaders here in Parliament House and across a range of Government departments,” Ms Macklin said.

“With theLearn. Earn. Legend! initiative we are building the hopes and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.”

Students will also get to meetLearn. Earn. Legend!Ambassador Scott Prince, co-captain of the Gold Coast Titans NRL team, and AFLLearn. Earn. Legend! Champions Michael O’Loughlin and Chris Johnson.

"This program is a brilliant opportunity for Indigenous secondary school students to find out about what it’s like to work in government or the public service,” Mr Prince said.

“In a couple of years some of these students may decide to come to Canberra and study and/or take up jobs in Government.

"During this week students will be encouraged to see the opportunities available if they stay at school and work hard to get good results.

“Their world will be opened up to the many study and career choices available. Supportive relationships will be created to help these students overcome challenges, build their determination and go for their dreams.”

Mr O’Loughlin, who is now an AFL Engagement and Talent Coordinator, is also excited about the opportunities the program will deliver to students.

"It is young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people such as this who may decide their future is to work in Government to improve the delivery of vital services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities,” Mr O’Loughlin said. "This program is a strong example of the Government's commitment to attract more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into the public service. "What these students experience in Canberra this week will help prepare them as future leaders and hopefully for senior positions in Government and the public service.” Senator Arbib said about 70 parliamentarians would host the students in their offices this week.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support for this program from all sides of politics, and very impressed with the calibre and enthusiasm of these young people,” Senator Arbib said.

Learn. Earn. Legend!aims to encourage young Indigenous people to stay in school and training so they can gain great jobs and careers, and is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap on education and employment outcomes.”

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has partnered with Dare to Lead and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation to organise and facilitate the program.

Senator Arbib said a range of Government agencies would host students during the week and he thanked them for their ongoing support.

For further information onLearn. Earn. Legend!visit www.deewr.gov.au/Indigenous