Months of concerted effort to secure the future of Darwin’s Kormilda College have paid off with leading Australian school, Haileybury, agreeing to take over the school.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the decision provided much-needed certainty for families, students and staff that the school would remain open.
An agreement was signed yesterday between Haileybury and the Kormilda College Board to acquire the school site and begin operations from 1 January 2018. The agreement is subject to a due diligence period that will end on 31 August 2017.
As part of the new arrangements, the Coalition Government will provide up to $13 million over four years for transitional support, a significant upgrade to the Indigenous boarding facilities and ongoing intensive support for the Indigenous boarders.
“Haileybury is an elite school known as a Tier 1 school that has a long history going back more than 100 years of providing world-class education to students both within Australia and internationally,” Minister Scullion said.
“The agreement with Haileybury is a huge win for the Territory and the result of many months of negotiations. The Coalition Government has worked tirelessly with the Northern Territory Government, the Kormilda College Board, the very committed parents on the Interim Steering Committee and Haileybury to explore all avenues for keeping the college open.
“I am particularly pleased to say Haileybury is fully committed to continuing Kormilda’s Indigenous boarding programme that has been in place for almost 50 years.”
Minister Scullion said that as many people would be aware, the Kormilda College Board advised both the Commonwealth and NT governments late last year that it was in a dire financial situation making the future of the school very uncertain.
“My absolute priority in this matter since then has been to ensure Territory families and students, in particular Indigenous students, continue to receive a high quality education without having to leave the Territory.
“I wish to thank the parents and staff for their forbearance in what has been a period of uncertainty and hope this decision will bring them some reassurance and comfort about the future.
“I am grateful to the NT’s Minister for Education, Eva Lawler, for the support her government provided to keep the school open until the end of 2016. The Coalition Government also contributed a significant amount of funding to ensure the school remained operational throughout 2017.
“I am also encouraged by the additional support from the Gunner Government which includes funding for an international boarding facility within the next few years, further supporting the economic development of Northern Australia.”
The Haileybury Rendall School will provide the highest quality of education for Northern Territory families and students, and the Haileybury Kormilda Boarding School will be a centre of excellent for Indigenous and international boarding into the future.
Hailybury currently operates four campuses in Melbourne as well as a campus just outside Beijing in China.