Joint Media Release with Western Australia Minister for Housing The Hon. Peter Charles Tinley, MLA
- Largest tertiary Aboriginal residential programme of its type in Australia
- Over 90 per cent retention rate for Aboriginal students
The Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments today announced a $12.8 million investment to establish an innovative accommodation project at Perth’s St Catherine’s College to support young Indigenous people from remote communities to complete tertiary education.
This project, funded by the Commonwealth under the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH), will double the capacity of the Dandjoo Darbalung programme at the college, located at The University of Western Australia.
The Western Australia Housing Authority will work with St Catherine’s on the procurement and construction of the project, while St Catherine’s will be responsible for management and ongoing operation.
Construction will commence in 2017 with the programme expected to be fully operational by the start of Semester 1, 2019.
Comments attributed to Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion:
“The Coalition Government is absolutely committed to supporting Indigenous students to undertake their university studies in an environment that supports them to complete their studies and transition into employment such as that offered through the Dandjoo Darbalung programme.
“This investment will support housing for students from remote communities and build on the programmes the Commonwealth already has in place to increase the number of Indigenous students who complete their university studies.
“I am also keen to see Indigenous employment and business procurement be a key focus of this investment to ensure our investment supports jobs for our First Australians.
“Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through university is a key focus for the Government because we know that with a tertiary education, there is almost no gap in employment outcomes compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
“The Commonwealth is investing $253 million over four years through the Indigenous Student Success Programme to support Australia’s 16,000 Indigenous students to complete their university studies. This programme is providing assistance through scholarships, tutorial assistance, mentoring and other personal support designed to help students meet the demands of university and succeed.”
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
“The Dandjoo Darbalung programme offers a holistic living and learning environment that activates and celebrates Aboriginal culture and supports academic success and employability.
“This accommodation project will enable more Aboriginal students from remote communities to develop knowledge and skills that lead to employment by addressing the challenges they face.
“The McGowan Government is pleased to support the Dandjoo Darbalung programme, which has the capacity to change lives and positively affect educational outcomes for young Aboriginal people and their communities.
“It (Dandjoo Darbalung) has achieved a 90 per cent retention rate for Aboriginal students and places are in great demand. Doubling its capacity to 100 students will make it the biggest tertiary residential programme of its type in Australia.”