The Clontarf Foundation is set to nearly double the number of young Indigenous men it supports through secondary school, thanks to an ambitious partnership with government and corporate Australia.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, today joined the Clontarf Foundation in Perth to celebrate a new three-year commitment by Rio Tinto to invest an annual $1.1 million in the highly-successful Clontarf programme.
“I commend Rio Tinto for its ongoing support of the Clontarf Foundation. This commitment adds to the Coalition Government’s additional $40 million investment in the Clontarf Foundation announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year as part of the Government’s $138 million 1967 Referendum 50th Anniversary Indigenous Education Package,” Minister Scullion said.
“It will enable the Clontarf Foundation to expand its operations to support 10,500 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men through its secondary school academies across the country by the end of 2020.
“Clontarf runs a football, mentoring and counselling initiative aimed at sparking passion in young boys about going to school – and completing Year 12.
“Its work is so important for the future of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Successfully completing Year 12 is a milestone that opens up many doors and presents young people with a greater range of opportunities in the workplace and to pursue further education.”
The programme works to engage young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men at school through either Australian Rules football or rugby league. It opens a dialogue between the young boys and in-house support staff to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects for the students.
Schools that have implemented the programme now see attendance rates above 80 per cent and retention rates of 90 per cent.
“Rio Tinto’s partnership with Clontarf is critical to the success of the programme. We need to make sure this type of corporate partnership continues into the future to help support the Coalition Government’s effort to give kids access to the best possible future,” Minister Scullion said.