The Australian Government has committed $1 billion to boost education and training in the country’s capital.
The money will support a $1.2 billion project called Grassroots Education and Training in Canberra and the region’s other major centres.
The program will see a significant increase in the number of Indigenous teachers, with some 150 Indigenous students currently enrolled in Canberra.
The new funding will also help to support other regional education and skills centres.
Minister for Primary Industries and Science Greg Hunt said the Government was committed to supporting regional learning and to providing a pathway to employment.
“It is an important first step to supporting our most vulnerable communities to thrive and develop their skills,” Mr Hunt said.
“We’re also making sure the Government has a robust pathway to job for the people who are here in Canberra.”
Mr Hunt also said the $1 million was a first step towards providing a better future for Indigenous Australians.
“These funding decisions are designed to support the delivery of a stronger education system that provides high-quality learning and supports the long-term development of Indigenous people, particularly in remote areas,” he said.
Minister says $1b for ‘superior education’ The $1m for Grassroots education was announced in September last year.
The Government has previously committed $8.5 million to the region.
Minister Hunt said he hoped to see a “significant increase in Indigenous learning and employment”.
“It’s important to me that Indigenous Australians have the best possible education, and this is just one way to do that,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.
“I know that Indigenous people have a hard time getting into the mainstream of Australia’s education system.”
Aboriginal education minister David Johnston said the money was a start.
“The government is committed to investing in the communities and schools of Australia,” Mr Johnston said.
”It is important to remember that Indigenous education and employment are not simply about the skills that we need to do jobs but about the education and knowledge we need and the skills we can use to support ourselves and our communities.
“Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Michael Ferguson said the funding would go towards improving the skills of teachers and helping students gain an understanding of their Aboriginal heritage.”
Aboriginal people are the most disadvantaged of all Australians, but they are the least likely to be able to access the best educational outcomes,” Mr Ferguson said.
The Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Michaelia Cash said the region was proud to partner with the Government.”
This is the largest and most important investment in the region by a Government of Australia for Indigenous peoples,” Ms Cash said.