An additional $1 million towards repairs and maintenance at remote homeland learning centres, announced as part of the Northern Territory budget, will provide young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have greater opportunities to flourish.

Jared Sharp, Jesuit Social Services’ General Manager in the Northern Territory, says the funds will provide a foundation for success for children and young people in the Arnhem region.

“Many of the remote homeland learning centres that will benefit from this funding are more than 30 years old. This funding will allow the facilities to be repaired and maintained to ensure that children are able to access education in a safe environment,” he says.

“Investing in children and young people through education, and allowing them a good start in life, is a crucial way to set people on positive pathways.”

Jesuit Social Services’ submission to the Northern Territory Budget flagged access to education and support to disadvantaged communities among its priorities.

The organisation recommended student needs-based funding to ensure extra resources go to schools with the greatest need, as well as a system and support mechanisms for young people reintegrating into school and training pathways.

“This funding for remote homeland learning centres is particularly significant because it will support some of the Territory’s most remote students, who don’t have access to the same services and opportunities as students in urban centres,” says Mr Sharp.

The Northern Territory Government has also announced an $18 million funding boost for Darwin High School, and funds to develop Bullocky Point Education Precinct, which will benefit both urban students and remote students enrolled in the NT School of Distance Education.

“The importance of a good education cannot be underestimated, especially when we know that the majority of young people involved in the Northern Territory’s youth justice system have disengaged from education,” says Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards.

“This funding will support children and young people to get the positive start in life they deserve.”

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