The Morrison Government’s recently announced $36 million for Indigenous girls’ education will be directed to newly selected providers across the nation.

The announcement follows the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s (NIAA) decision to discontinue funding Role Models and Leaders Australia’s (RMLA) Girls Academy program.

After 16 years of service, the Girls Academy has been disbanded and staff and students are being moved across to government-selected providers.

It’s understood the new providers were selected through an NIAA open and competitive grant process.

An online statement from the NIAA said the providers will deliver “Indigenous girls academies services” to an additional 2,700 young Indigenous women as of 2021.

This builds upon RMLA’s original Girls Academy model, supporting 2,900 young women in 46 locations across Australia.

Despite being labelled “girls academies services”, the providers’ programs are not formally affiliated with the Girls Academy.

According to the NIAA, the funding will enable in-class support, group homework sessions, mentoring, extracurricular and personal development activities, health check-ups, transport, career and employment support, and cultural activities to support young Indigenous women throughout their educational journeys.

These will be delivered with the local school community and education department to ensure they best meet the needs of each cohort.

The NIAA noted that a majority of the providers are Indigenous-owned or led organisations.

The new providers are:

  • Stars Foundation
  • National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy
  • Glass Jar Australia Ltd
  • NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated
  • Koya Aboriginal Corporation
  • Aurora Project and Programs Pty Ltd
  • AFL Cape York House for Girls
  • Yalga-Binbi Institute for Community Development Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation
  • Wongutha CAPS
  • South Metropolitan Youth Link Inc
  • Central Queensland University
  • Cape York Girl Academy Ltd.

The NIAA also said in their statement they are funding the salaries of current staff employed by RMLA during their transition to new providers and that they will work with new providers to secure employment for all existing staff where it is “agreeable to both parties”.

“The NIAA would also like to assure current participants, schools, parents and carers, and their communities that girls academy services will continue in all current sites from Term 1 2021,” the statement read.

“The new sites will be determined with the relevant education authorities and school communities over the coming year.”

By Rachael Knowles