ANDERSON WELCOMES IMPROVING YEAR 12 OUTCOMES FOR ABORIGINAL STUDENTS
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has welcomed the goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal students completing year 12 by 50 per cent by 2023.
Mr Anderson said the first Premier’s Priority developed in partnership with the Aboriginal community would mean an additional 1200 additional Aboriginal students in NSW attaining year 12 in this time frame.
“This is such a positive plan with the Government’s ambition to provide opportunities for more of our Aboriginal students.
“It is great news for our students, parents and schools in centres like Werris Creek, Walcha, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Nundle, Dungowan, Barraba, Manilla, Kootingal and Bendemeer.
“I want to ensure every child in these centres has the opportunity to be the best they can be, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be.
“I want to applaud the work of Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell with this announcement.
“Helping young Aboriginal people reach their full education potential means they will be better equipped to fully participate in the cultural, social and economic life of their community.
“Currently, around 70 per cent of Aboriginal young people do not finish year 12 in NSW. With the announcement of this ambitious new Priority, we are signalling our clear intent to do better,” Mr Anderson concluded.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the new target would build on a number of existing programs that had delivered successful outcomes.
"It is crucial that as a Government, we continue to focus on ensuring Aboriginal students are supported in the education system. Giving Aboriginal students the confidence to aspire to be the best they can be is so important, and I look forward to watching more children thrive as part of this priority,” Ms Mitchell said.
The new target complements the NSW Government’s strong record of supporting indigenous communities, and initiatives include:
• Language – established Australia’s first Aboriginal Languages Trust, under the Aboriginal Languages Act 2017.
• Procurement – implemented an Aboriginal Procurement Policy, to award at least three per cent of domestic contracts for goods and services issued by NSW Government agencies to Aboriginal-owned businesses by 2021.
• OCHRE – the NSW plan for Aboriginal Affairs, which commits the NSW Government to working with Aboriginal communities by building strong working partnerships.
• Stolen Generations Reparations – reparations payments have been delivered to survivors in addition to Funeral Assistance Fund payments.
• Tertiary students – Invested $10 million in Australia’s first Indigenous residential college at UTS to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into tertiary education.
The new Premier’s Priorities comes after the release this week of new priorities targeting literacy and numeracy across State schools, open spaces, recidivism, suicide and homelessness.