Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Opening of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister
  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health
  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today officially opened the $50 million National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, Sydney.

Created with the support of the Indigenous Land Corporation, the facility will provide world-class facilities in sport, education and the arts for up to 5,000 young Indigenous people from around Australia each year.

The Centre has a fully equipped gymnasium and sports hall, outdoor 25-metre swimming pool, intensive literacy tutorial centre for 60 primary school students, arts/craft activity rooms, sporting field and campus accommodation for visiting groups of more than 100 people.

This is a world-class facility that symbolises a new era in Indigenous education, engagement and leadership.

Through its four development pathways of Sport, Learning and Innovation, Culture and Arts and Health and Wellbeing, the NCIE will create opportunities for young Indigenous people from across the country.

A number of existing programs will be accommodated at the new facility including the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, which encourages healthy lifestyles through sport.

The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, also based at the facility, is working to match Indigenous high school students with mentors from universities to make sure they stay the course in school and progress to university.

Primary school children will have access to a six-month accelerated literacy program at the Centre’s intensive literacy tutorial centre.

This program, run in partnership with Macquarie University and the Exodus Foundation has produced phenomenal results, with literacy levels for some kids rising 2 years in just 6 months.

The Centre will also provide new education and employment opportunities for local Indigenous youth including jobs in sport, recreation, youth and community programs, and hospitality when the Centre is fully operational.

As a facilities partner, the YMCA is helping to train NCIE staff to manage the health and fitness and camp facilities.

The Australian Government congratulates the Indigenous Land Corporation for backing the vision for this tremendous new development.