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Urgent Upgrading of Aboriginal School

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Ministerial 20 21 February 1977


Commonwealth Government approval was given today to upgrade

urgently Shepherdson College at Elcho Island, off Arnhem

Land, at a cost of $1 million. The contract will be let

in this financial year.

The Minister for Education, Senator Carrick, announcing

this today, said a further $110,000 would be spent on repairs

and maintenance to teacher housing and existing school


The projects will be part of a $6.5 million program approved

in October last year for education and health capital

projects in the Northern Territory.

This program will be funded from the additional $25 million

allocated by the Government for Aboriginal programs.

Senator Carrick said the upgrading of Shepherdson College

would provide domestic science and art/craft facilities,

an industrial arts unit, library and toilet blocks.

The Commonwealth Government took over the 50 year old

Shepherdson College from the United Church Mission in

February last year at the church's request.

The school buildings were badly in need of repairs at

that time and shortly after one of the four teaching

blocks was destroyed by fire.

Urgent repairs are being made at present to school toilets

whose septic systems were flooded by heavy rain just '


before the school was due to open this month.

In addition to the repairs, two transportable toilet/

ablution units are being moved by barge to Elcho Island

on Friday (18/2).

The school is expected to begin classes next week, tvzo

weeks behind schedule.

Shederdson College is the largest Aboriginal school in

the Northern Territory with an enrolment of 400 and a staff

of about 40.

Other projects in the program to upgrade NT Aboriginal e .

schools have been included in the Department of Education1s

draft 1977/78 civil works program.

Since a survey of education buildings in Aboriginal

communities in the NT in 1973 (the SEBAC Report) the ,

Commonwealth Government has spent about $10 million

on teaching housing, classrooms and other school facilities.

Inquiries: David Green 89-7414 (w) 48-0963 (h)