Release type: Media Release

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New institute to boost skills for Indigenous youth

The Rudd Government will support the development of a new education and training facility for Indigenous youth at Punt Road Oval in Melbourne.

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today announced the Government’s contribution of $6.75 million toward the establishment of the Australian Institute for Indigenous Learning and Skills Development.

The institute will form part of the redeveloped Punt Road Oval, the original home of the Richmond Football Club, which will be completed in 2010.

Both classroom and other facilities — lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, conference and sporting facilities — available at the redeveloped oval will be used for training.

The new institute will play an important role in delivering on the Government’s commitment to halving the education and employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

It will help young Indigenous people develop self confidence and leadership skills through leadership camps and pre-employment skills development training.

Young Indigenous people will be offered vocational education and training options to develop skills that provide the best opportunity to improve their employment prospects.

The Australian Government and Richmond Football Club will conclude the full agreement in the coming weeks prior to the commencement of construction later in 2008.

The Government will work closely with the Club to ensure the new institute is co-ordinated with existing programs, is providing integrated services and support for Indigenous youth, and is working closely with Indigenous community and education organisations and the private sector.

An unacceptable percentage of young people falling behind in literacy and numeracy are from Indigenous, remote or low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Rudd Government is proud to be working in partnership with the Richmond Football Club to develop opportunities to improve education and employment outcomes for Indigenous people.