$2.1 million to improve education outcomes for remote and regional Indigenous students

Release Date: 
16 March 2019
Media release

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP - Treasurer
Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion - Minister for Indigenous Affairs

The Coalition Government will invest $2.1 million in the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) to construct a new Alumni Boarding House to support the wonderful work MITS does with remote and regional Indigenous boarding students.

This new investment will build on the success of the current MITS program and its students. Twenty-two Year 7 students from Indigenous communities attend school and board at MITS every year, before transitioning into Year 8 at one of eleven Melbourne partner schools.

The new Alumni Boarding House will provide 18 beds for MITS alumni girls, creating a culturally strong home-base for students’ post-MITS, while they attend their new schools.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said MITS is a best-practice model supporting Indigenous students’ learning and education that is delivering amazing outcomes for the students and their families.

“Today, 56 young Indigenous students are pursuing their educational goals in Melbourne because of MITS. MITS has created a safe environment, ensuring students maintain connection to their culture, family and community while away from home.

“With the support of MITS, Indigenous students have excelled in key areas of reading, writing, maths and attendance, which means they are getting the best possible start in life.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said that Josh Frydenberg was a long-time champion for MITS, their work and in particular their students.

“Josh has been a passionate advocate for MITS’ work and has worked to secure this funding to ensure that more remote and regional students can come to MITS and make a successful transition to one of their partner schools,” Mr Scullion said.

“The Coalition is backing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to stay engaged, complete their school education and pursue successful post-school pathways.”

Executive Director of MITS, Edward Tudor said we are excited to provide greater opportunities to more young Indigenous people who are choosing to pursue education in Melbourne. Our MITS parents tell us that they want their children to access the best educational opportunities in Melbourne, while remaining connected with their peers and feeling strong in their cultures.

MITS parent Donna Nadjamerrek, from Gunbalanya in Western Arnhem Land, said at MITS, our kids feel good because they are surrounded by other Indigenous people – their culture is strong.  MITS gives our kids the best of both worlds.

Giving kids the best chance in life means going to school regularly, achieving a good school education and moving onto further education or employment. Supporting regular attendance underpins completion of Year 12, which is an important milestone in closing the education gap.