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Stronger Futures for Indigenous school kids in the NT

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Hermannsburg Indigenous Engagement Officer, Edward Rontji with Ntaria school kids Mahalia Moketarinja, Bowen Abbott, Johannas Kantawara & Ashley Lankin
Hermannsburg Indigenous Engagement Officer, Edward Rontji with Ntaria school kids L-R: Mahalia Moketarinja, Bowen Abbott, Johannas Kantawara & Ashley Lankin.
1 Nov 2012

Delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal children in remote communities is a key part of the Australian Governments Stronger Futures initiative in the Northern Territory.

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory is a $3.4 billion investment and responds directly to what Aboriginal people told the Government was important to them.

The Australian Government is committing $583 million over 10 years to ensure education outcomes are delivered in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

This includes funding for 200 additional teachers, building new teacher houses, improving teacher quality with a specific focus on children with learning difficulties and hearing problems, and maintaining the School Nutrition Program.

Maxine Malbunka, a mother of three primary school children and assistant pre-school teacher at the Ntaria School in Hermannsburg in the Northern Territory welcomes the Government’s commitment to education as part of the Stronger Futures package.

“I think that Stronger Futures is important for our kids so they can be good students and learn,” Maxine said.

“When they grow up they can have their own jobs in the future, and they can teach the younger ones to be like them – to learn and become good sportsmen.”

According to Maxine, an important part of supporting children get the most out of their education begins with a good breakfast.

“I think it is important for kids to have breakfast in the morning at school so they can learn at school in the class. It is also important for nutrition and health,” Maxine said.

Every school day in Hermannsburg, school children are collected from their homes by the local school bus and taken to school for the Breakfast Club.

The Breakfast Club is part of the School Nutrition Program, funded through the Dpeartment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), and provides school children with a healthy breakfast that is prepared by teachers and parents.

The Australian Government is also improving engagement between parents and the school community so that parents can more effectively support their children to learn, through the Families as First Teacher’s program, funded through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (DEEWR)

Meagan Cox, who lives and works in Galiwin’ku, in Arnhem Land, co-ordinates the Families as First Teachers (FAFT) program.

The Families as First Teachers Program builds family knowledge of early learning through active engagement in quality early childhood education programs for parents and their children.

“The FAFT playgroup is one of the big success stories here in Galiwin’ku. We have a big focus on health and nutrition and hygiene for mums and the kids so there’s also adult education in our program,” Meagan said.

“Kids are learning a lot both in their local language and in English.

“It’s fantastic and engaging for children and their parents within the school environment. The kids engage in learning activities and are becoming pre-school ready which I think is really important, but also their parents become pre-school ready,” Meagan said.

Find out more

Stronger Futures  is the Australian Government's  ten-year commitment to work with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to build strong, independent lives, where communities, families and children are safe and healthy. For more information about Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory visit the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.

The School Nutrition Program is a breakfast and/or lunch service for school-aged children from remote communities of the Northern Territory. It aims to support better school attendance and to help with learning and engagement in education. For more information visit the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website (DEEWR).

The Families as First Teachers program is funded through the Northern Territory Government and builds family knowledge of early learning through active engagement in quality early childhood education activies.