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QCoal Foundation Supports Powerful Program to Close the Gap in Education and Vocational Outcomes for Indigenous Students

QCoal Foundation is proud to continue our support of CQ University’s Girls Academies program into its second year with the award of an additional $15,000 of funding.

Girls Academies is an educational and vocational program for Indigenous students in the Central Queensland region.

Data from the Rockhampton and Baralaba regions (QGSO, 2016), shows an alarming gap between the education and vocational outcomes for Indigenous students and particularly female Indigenous students when compared to their non-Indigenous peers:

  • Only 38.4% of Indigenous Australians aged over 15 had completed year 12 or equivalent vs 45.9% for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • Only 33% of Indigenous women aged 18-24 were fully engaged in work, study or training vs 57% for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • Female Indigenous students have been shown to be significantly less likely to progress from year 10 to year 12 compared to their non-Indigenous female peers (72.6% vs 87%) (ABS, 2019).

In answer to these concerning statistics, CQ University partnered with Mt Morgan State High School and Baralaba State School to establish two Indigenous Girls Academies. These academies provide careers guidance, vocational training, work experience, workplace engagement opportunities, mentoring and a leadership camp to a projected 80 Indigenous girls in years 7 to 12.

Our most recent funding will be used to deliver the leadership camps where students will receive hands-on experience in higher education and cultural experiences with local Indigenous Elders.

In addition to funding from the QCoal Foundation, the academies are supported by the National indigenous Australians Agency and the Matana Foundation.

We congratulate CQ University for bringing this powerful and important program to the Foundation’s attention and we are proud to support a program that helps First Nations girls complete high school and advance to further education, employment, or training.

The QCoal Foundation Community Grant Program has been established to encourage community-led initiatives to improve liveability, health and education in communities throughout regional and remote Queensland.