THE HON PETER GARRETT MP
Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
SENATOR TRISH CROSSIN
Senator for the Northern Territory
6 September 2012
Indigenous students from Wadeye and the wider Victoria Daly region will have access to new accommodation while finishing high school, thanks to $14.5 million in Gillard Government funding.
Minister for School Education Peter Garrett today officially opened the new Kardu Darrikardu Numida (One Family) Hostel during a ceremony with students, teachers, elders and community members in Wadeye.
“The community asked for a special building close to the school where children can sleep safely at night and community leaders can interact with them to maintain strong cultural links and ensure they attend school,” Mr Garrett said.
“We listened, and we have responded to the community’s concerns that more needed to be done to support the education of Indigenous students in the area.
“Students will have access to the boarding facility’s homework centre and its technology, recreation and culture programs, which will help them move successfully into education, training and employment.”
The Gillard Government has contracted Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) to operate the facility.
AHL provides culturally-sensitive accommodation to Indigenous Australians in 67 locations.
Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon said the new hostel was a big win for the community.
“Labor’s Remote Boarding Facilities program is about giving kids, who otherwise wouldn’t get it, an access to education that the rest of us take for granted,” he said.
“Providing access to secondary education for all children including kids from remote communities is a matter of equality and justice.”
Senator Crossin said: "The boarding facility builds on the strength and leadership in the community, providing vital support for the kids as they go through their secondary schooling."
Mr Garrett said today’s opening builds on the Gillard Government’s commitment to supporting quality education for students at Wadeye’s only school, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic School.
“We’re investing an extra $7.7 million to ensure that, in partnership with local leaders and the NT Catholic Education Office, we lift the quality of education for all students in the area,” he said.
In June, the Gillard Government agreed to provide:
- $1.7 million to continue the Da Ngimalmin Project, which engages elders and community leaders in local school activities, such as craft, art, conservation, culturally focused excursions, fishing, hunting and bush tucker trips;
- $2.2 million to construct four new classrooms at the local school;
- $1.6 million over the next three years in extra support for students with disability and other special needs;
- $2.2 million over the next three years to provide literacy, numeracy and job readiness training to adults in the Wadeye community; and
- Up to $300,000 to support the development of a study into community-based approaches which encourage positive social behaviour.
“Today is an important day for the children of Wadeye and the Thamarrurr area. I look forward to hearing the success stories of students who stay at the hostel and attend Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic School,” Mr Garrett said.
Minister Garrett Media Contact: Lisa Miller 0419 124 717
DEEWR Media: firstname.lastname@example.org