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Continuing our commitment to indigenous learning.

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Media Release


The Budget continues the Government’s commitment to improving Indigenous students’ skills both at school and those needed for the workforce, with $445 million available in 2002-03.

This level of funding will continue to underpin the Government’s approach to Indigenous education.

This funding will reach students through the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives programme (IESIP), which will receive $167.9 million as well as through the Indigenous Education Direct Assistance programme (IEDA) ($64.9 million) and the ABSTUDY programme (an estimated $183.7 million).

A total of 201 education providers are funded under IESIP including preschools, independent, Catholic and Government schools and independent vocational and educational training institutions.

From 1 July 2002, increased education and training assistance will be available for Indigenous young Australians. This will assist about 1,600 secondary students during the period 2002-2004 to stay on and complete Year 12 or move into further educational, training or paid employment.

A further 2,300 secondary school students will gain access to vocational learning opportunities through local business and communities.

I will be tabling the first national report to Parliament in October this year, which will report on the state of Indigenous education and training in Australia in 2001.

The IEDA programme funds services through the Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme and more than 800 Homework Centres throughout Australia used by 26,000 Indigenous students. Over 4,000 parent-school committees

The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP - Media Centre (1 of 2) [15/05/2002 12:59:12]

will be funded under the Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness (ASSPA) in 2001-2002.

More than 350 projects under the Vocational and Educational Guidance for Aboriginals Scheme (VEGAS) are also funded through IEDA.

There is still much work to be done and the 1999 Learning Lessons Review into Indigenous education in the Northern Territory, will provide a focus for much of these efforts.

The Government will be launching later this year the Indigenous Education Professional Development Package, which will provide professional development activities to principals and educators of Indigenous school students. Experience shows that teachers can make a major difference to Indigenous students’ achievements, especially when they have high expectations of their students and are supported by good professional development, leadership and expert assistance.

In 2002, funding of $4 million will be made available through the Australian National Training Authority for vocational education and training (VET) infrastructure for Indigenous People. This will provide vital facilities to improve the participation in vocational education and training.

The Commonwealth will also provide $24.3 million under the Indigenous Support Funding programme to assist in meeting special needs of indigenous students in higher education institutions.

Improving Indigenous education remains one of my highest priorities.

For further information:

Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095

DEST: Jane Smith 0412 973 411


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The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP - Media Centre (2 of 2) [15/05/2002 12:59:12]