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QCoal Foundation supports powerful program to close the gap in education and vocational outcomes for Indigenous students

Through the award of a $15,000 Community Growth Grant, the QCoal Foundation is contributing funding that will establish a new educational and vocational program for Indigenous women and girls 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 has partnered with Mt Morgan State High School and Baralaba State School to establish two Indigenous Girls Academies. These academies will 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.

In addition to funding from the QCoal Foundation, the new 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 such a program that addresses a clear and important need in these regional communities.

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.