THE Coalition Government will provide $1 million to establish the Kaziew Rangath Academy for young Indigenous women in Far North Queensland.
The investment forms part of the $138 million education package announced by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, last week.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said this year's 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision during National Reconciliation Week were valuable reminders of the importance of empowering our youth to lead the change we want to see in our future.
“Young educated women have such an important role to play in Indigenous culture. They are role models for those around them, for their families and future generations to achieve higher education and enter the workforce,” Minister Scullion said.
“This is why we are providing funding to the Young Australia League to help establish the Kaziew Rangath Academy for young Indigenous women in Cairns, based at Tropicana Lodge in Parramatta Park.
“The scope of works will include upgrading personal living spaces, improving staff and parent facilities, improving safety and security, upgrading learning and study facilities and the installation of solar panels.
“When operational, the Academy will provide holistic support in a safe and culturally appropriate residential environment while these young women attend local schools.”
The Young Australia League (YAL) is a philanthropic organisation which has been helping to support and shape the future of young people since it was first established in 1905. It has owned the Tropicana Lodge site for around 70 years, and plans for the Kaziew Rangath Academy to be operational by Term 1, 2018.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the Lodge was very well-equipped to offer the students a ‘home away from home’ living environment. In addition to motel-style accommodation, it has spacious social and recreational areas, sporting facilities, study areas and a central location to schools.
“I’ve seen one of the upgraded units and they’ve done a great job ? it’s welcoming, comfortable and practical and will certainly help to make the young women feel right at home,” he said.
YAL will also work closely with Cairns Hockey, which is currently funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to deliver the ‘Aspire to be Deadly’ programme.
“Cairns Hockey has developed partnerships with schools across the Torres Strait, Cape York, Gulf of Carpentaria and Cairns to provide opportunities for young women through sport while at the same time, engaging their parents in their education,” Mr Entsch said.
“The Aspire programme is kicking goals; it won the Community category at last night’s Queensland Reconciliation Awards and has also been shortlisted in the prestigious Beyond Sport Global Awards which recognise initiatives that are making profound social change through sport.
“This partnership between the Australian Government, Young Australia League, Tropicana Lodge and Cairns Hockey’s Aspire programme is going to help young Indigenous women and girls from across Far North Queensland to realise their potential and foster the next generation of leaders.”