An estimated 2300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students from remote communities will benefit from additional support services to succeed in their education next year, as part of the Morrison Government’s plan for a stronger future.
The Morrison Government will provide $17.3 million to extend the 2021-22 Indigenous Boarding Providers grants program for up to 50 boarding providers with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 2023.
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said remote communities often had few, if any local secondary schooling options, and that while boarding is not for everyone, these grants will enable quality supports for those who choose to study away from home.
“This funding will assist boarding providers to offer tailored services to support their students’ wellbeing while they are away from their families and communities.
“It will also empower our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students to achieve their educational goals and lay the groundwork for success beyond school,” Minister McKenzie said.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said studying away from home was a necessity for many students from regional Australia, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from remote and very remote communities.
“Extending the grants program will allow boarding providers to better support the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding students and keep them engaged in school,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Importantly, it will also help Indigenous students to continue to access a high-quality, culturally-appropriate boarding education while maintaining close connections with their families and community.”
This funding will build on the Morrison Government’s 2021 Budget measure that provided $15.7 million to boarding providers with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Extending the program will allow up to 50 boarding providers to improve their services in various ways, including:
- Supportive and culturally appropriate learning environments and health and wellbeing programs;
- Transition support for students starting boarding school, tuition support and academic assistance;
- Family engagement programs; and
- Further education and training preparation and career development or employment readiness programs.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment and the National Indigenous Australians Agency will work with boarding providers to extend this support into the 2023 school year.