Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Kicking goals for Indigenous youth

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Kate Lundy
    Minister for Sport

    Julie Collins MP
    Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

    Warren Snowdon MP
    Minister for Indigenous Health

The Gillard Labor Government is investing nearly $1.3 million to continue supporting the next generation of Indigenous leaders, in partnership with the Australian Football League.

As footy fans get ready for the annual Dreamtime game at the MCG tonight, the Government is pleased to announce its continued investment in youth programs run by the AFL and the Richmond Football Club, which are helping young Indigenous Australians gain new skills and become role models for others.

The Long Walk and Dreamtime at the G are nationally celebrated events that recognise the important contribution that Indigenous people make to our country, both on and off the field.

The Government is also supporting the Long Walk – which is led every year by Michael Long to raise awareness of Indigenous issues – with a $30,000 grant to support the organisation.

The Gillard Government is proud to partner with the AFL to develop Australia’s next generation of Indigenous leaders.

Supporting the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute

The Government will provide more than $970,000 over the next three years to the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute to continue the successful Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leaders (REAL) program.

The REAL program provides leadership and mentoring opportunities for Indigenous students from across the country aged 13 to 16 years, giving them new vocational skills and setting them up for successful careers.

A key part of the program includes camps held over four days each year in Melbourne and Alice Springs, which build student’s leadership skills, self-esteem and cultural connections, so they can be young leaders in the own communities.

Students also benefit from direct mentoring from Richmond footballers, including Shane Edwards and Steven Morris.

This new funding builds on the $6.75 million the Australian Government has previously invested to launch the REAL program in 2012.

Since the initiative began, more than 180 Indigenous students have benefited from the REAL leadership camps and ongoing mentoring programs.

Students have had successful work experience placements at a number of different employers, and have taken part in the Koori Youth Council and the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy.

Helping to build young Indigenous leaders is a critical part of closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

The Richmond Football Club and the Korin Gamadji Institute are doing fantastic work to make sure young Indigenous people from across Australia are on the right track to succeed as adults and become role models for other young people.

Supporting the AFL’s Club Partnership Program

The Gillard Government will continue to support the AFL’s Club Partnership Program, with a further $300,000 in funding for 2013.

Under the Club Partnership Program, six AFL clubs work with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia to help young people stay connected to school and reduce the risk of truancy, violence and substance abuse.

The clubs – Richmond, Essendon, Geelong, Hawthorn, Adelaide and Port Adelaide – organise player visits to their partner communities at least twice a year to work with young Indigenous people and maintain contact with them throughout the year.

The Australian Government has invested more than $1.4 million in the program since 2007, benefitting young people in remote Indigenous communities including Tiwi Islands, Wadeye, Groote Eylandt and communities in the APY Lands.

This new funding will build on the success of the current program and expand to work with young Indigenous women across the country through the AFL Female Kickstart program.