Boarding providers across the country will be able to better support more than 2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote areas, with an additional $15.7 million in targeted assistance.
More than 40 boarding schools and stand-alone providers with a high proportion of Indigenous secondary school students from remote and very remote areas will be able to deliver new and innovative projects to help students study away from home.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said the grants will keep boarding providers financially sustainable and allow them to offer new services as they welcome back students in the New Year.
“This is about ensuring remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have to travel to access high school have the same educational opportunities as other Australians,” Minister Wyatt said.
Minister Wyatt said the investment will also allow the engagement of community liaison officers to offer more cultural camps and activities, individualised learning plans and case management, the purchasing or resources or uniforms, and more mentors and tutors so young people can achieve at their very best.
“I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects, and even more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students graduating from high school and moving successfully on to post-school pathways and careers.”
Minister for Regional Education Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said boarding schools are a critical part of Australia’s education system and students, particularly those in regional and remote communities, should have a wide range of supports available to them while they are away from their families and community.
“These grants will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote and very remote communities will receive the support they need to succeed in their education, including health and wellbeing support, particularly following the impacts of COVID-19,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Boarding students will benefit from a range of projects including support to improve family and community engagement, transition from primary to secondary school or to boarding school, as well as capital upgrades to boarding facilities.
“Boarding schools are a central part of the education options available to families, particularly those in regional and remote communities,” Minister McKenzie said.
This measure is part of the 2021–22 Budget cross-portfolio package, ‘Schools and Youth— supporting students, teachers and young Australians’.