Today’s Closing the Gap report has revealed there has been very little progress towards meeting school attendance targets.
Labor believes in an approach to Closing the Gap built on Aboriginal leadership, on local expertise, on genuinely listening to people who are driving successful initiatives in their communities.
That is why I have this week written to the Prime Minister, urging him to guarantee continuing support for Rugby League’s School to Work (S2W) program.
In Government, Labor supported the establishment of S2W, which mentors Indigenous students in Years 10-12 and supports them to stay in school, achieve their goals and transition into further education or employment.
Since 2011, the program has supported more than 750 Indigenous students, with a rate of transition to employment or further studies of 98 per cent.
This program works and the results show that supporting the organisations and people on the ground to develop and deliver solutions can bring about valuable progress towards Closing the Gap.
Labor believes the Government support the extension of this successful program.
The NRL has a strong history of working with Indigenous communities to achieve positive outcome.
Last Friday night, outstanding victories to the men’s and women’s All Stars teams capped Rugby League’s All Stars week – a celebration of Indigenous success both in the community and on the football field.
Activities including school and community visits, and a Youth Summit for future Indigenous leaders are examples of how sporting and community organisations can help to empower Indigenous Australians by providing pathways and opportunities for success.
I congratulate the NRL on its ongoing commitment to working with Indigenous communities and call on the Government to ensure it can continue its important contribution through the School to Work program.