More support for First Nations students

THE HON JASON CLARE MP
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

THE HON LINDA BURNEY MP
MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

11 July 2024

MORE SUPPORT FOR FIRST NATIONS STUDENTS

The Albanese Government is providing funding to two First Nations organisations to support more students to succeed at school and beyond.

The Government is investing $4 million to support the GO Foundation’s scholarships, which support Indigenous students to succeed in school and prepare for the workforce.

The Government is also investing an additional $4.5 million to support the Aurora Education Foundation’s Redefining Indigenous Success in Education (RISE) initiative.

Since the GO Foundation’s creation in 2009, it has awarded more than 1,700 scholarships to Indigenous young people across 100 schools and universities. 

This funding will allow the GO Foundation to have deeper engagement with their students over the next four years. The GO Scholarship Program includes cultural workshops, access to wider opportunities including internships and help to cover educational costs.

The Aurora Education Foundation supports Indigenous high school students through tutoring, camps and mentoring programs. In 2024, the RISE program supported 541 students across 49 schools.

The funding will continue the Albanese Government’s contribution to help the Foundation expand its RISE Indigenous education initiative from more than 450 students up to 800 students.

Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s commitment to work with Indigenous organisations and help First Nations students thrive in their education.

More information about the GO Foundation and Aurora Foundation is available online.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“I want more kids to finish school and get a crack at going to university.

“These scholarships are part of this.

“The work that Aurora and GO Foundation are doing is working. It is increasing attendance rates. It is also helping more Indigenous students to finish school and go on to TAFE or university.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney:

“We know that education is the key to empowering young people to dream big and build great careers.

“GO Foundation provides the support for young Indigenous Australians to be strong in their culture and succeed at school, training and work.

“And the Aurora Education Foundation is doing important work to help improve the system so that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander can thrive.”

Quotes attributable to GO Foundation CEO, Charlene Davison:

“The GO Foundation believes in the power of education, the strength of identity and culture, and the unlimited potential of Indigenous students engaged in our Program.

“This investment from Government will allow GO to reach more students, build on our current initiatives through deeper engagement and continue to create an environment where successful stories of our GO students can emerge.

“Our 15 year milestone reflects our maturity as an organisation and our ability to stand the test of time by creating a space for Indigenous students to unlock the power of their identity and culture while at school and university.  I am so excited to see where the next 15 years will take us.

“Since launching our Strategic Plan in 2022, we have supported our largest cohort of students, expanding our reach to 16 universities and 100 schools. We have also implemented new initiatives including our Year 5&6 Leaderships Days and Alumni Network.”

Quotes attributable to Aurora Education Foundation CEO, Leila Smith:

“Aurora’s Redefining Indigenous Success in Education (RISE) initiative imagines a system where we recognise and value Indigenous success in all its forms – a system where we leverage the value of Indigenous knowledges and traditions that have sustained our people and this continent for millennia.

“The Government’s investment in RISE demonstrates trust in this vision, and a recognition that Indigenous organisations and communities know what’s best for our people.

“We have so much to gain from championing Indigenous definitions of success in education and tapping into the potential of Indigenous-led data to influence real change and better outcomes. I am excited about what impact the Government’s investment will have, not only on today’s Indigenous students but also generations to come.”