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Aboriginal secondary grants scheme

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The Commonwealth Minister for Education and Science,

Mr Nigel Bowen, and the Commonwealth Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs, Mr W.C. Wentworth, announced jointly today

details of a scheme of awards for Aboriginal secondary students at approved schools in all States, the Northern Territory and

the Australian Capital Territory. The scheme, to be known as

the Aboriginal Secondary Grants Scheme, forms part of the Government's programme for Aboriginal advancement. Its purpose

is to assist Aboriginal students who are remaining at school• beyond the age when school attendance is no longer compulsory

in the State or internal territory where they reside and who are likely to benefit from further secondary school studies.

Secondary level students of Aboriginal descent will be

eligible to apply for a Secondary Grant which will be tenable

from the beginning of the school year in which the student reaches

the school leaving age and will continue for the remainder of secondary schooling subject to satisfactory conduct, progress and attendance. The Secondary Grants, which will be available

from the beginning of the 1970 school year, will be awarded by the Commonwealth Minister for Education and Science who, in con-sidering applications made to him, will take into account the extent to which applicants are regarded as capable of benefiting

from further secondary school studies.

The Minister, in determining a Secondary Grant, may take into account any other awards held by an applicant at the

time of application.

In deciding on the benefits offered under the scheme, the Government has taken into account the special needs of likely

applicants. The main benefits are :

1) $200 per annum paid to the parent for

the purchase of school clothing, books and other essentials,


2) where the child lives at home a payment

at the rate of $240 to $300 per annum to

the family as a living allowance, 3) where the child lives away from home a payment to cover full boarding costs,

4) payment of tuition and other compulsory

fees to the school.

In order to meet particular problems which might con-front students from time to time, there is provision under the

scheme for the granting of additional assistance.

Students who live away from their normal place of residence in order to attend a secondary school will be issued with travel warrants to cover the cost of the journey by what-ever form of transport is appropriate, from their normal place

of residence to the town or city at which the course is con-ducted, and return, up to three times each year, to coincide with

term vacations.

Assistance to Aboriginal students for primary and secondary education during the period of compulsory school attend-ance will continue to be the responsibility of the States although

the direct Commonwealth grants to the States for Aboriginal education may continue to be used for this purpose.

Enquiries may be made at State Offices of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Science. It is expected that application forms will shortly be available from principals of secondary schools.

Department of Education and Science, Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Canberra 4 Canberra

15 January, 1970.