Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New school hostel for Cape York

Work on a new secondary school student hostel in Weipa that will be home to around 120 boarders from Indigenous communities will start this year with the hostel due to open its doors by mid-2009.

The new hostel will operate in conjunction with Education Queensland’s Western Cape College, already firmly established in Weipa with around 1,350 enrolments – 850 of them Indigenous children.

The new Cape York hostel will provide more opportunities for Indigenous children to be supported by a structured and positive environment while obtaining a quality education.

The new hostel planned for Weipa will benefit children and their parents.

The children will get a good education and, at the same time, they won’t be too far away from their parents and their communities.

The funding comes from the Australian Government’s $38.8 million Indigenous Boarding Hostels Partnership which provides accommodation for Indigenous students living in remote communities to go to secondary schools in regional centres.

This new hostel will replace an existing small hostel in Weipa that has limited facilities and resources.

As well as providing hostel accommodation, the Australian Government is also supporting a Student Outreach program with Western Cape College to make sure that high achieving Indigenous students gain places in Queensland boarding schools.