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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Indigenous education report

Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough today welcomed the release of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research report into Indigenous education.

"It is a worthwhile contribution to the evidence base and will help guide policy thinking in Indigenous education and early childhood development," Mr Brough said.

"The research found that basic needs in the home and community must be addressed so we can get better educational outcomes for Indigenous children.

"This is why our priorities are making communities safer, helping Indigenous children get a good start in life and reducing passive welfare.

"Action needs to be taken on these fronts by all governments so that educational outcomes will improve for Indigenous students."

Mr Brough said steady gains have been made but there remained much to be done.

"Retention rates for full-time Indigenous students from Year 7/8 to Year 10 increased from 83 per cent to 88 per cent between 2000 and 2005," Mr Brough said.

"The Year 12 retention rate increased from 36.4 per cent to 39.5 per cent over the same period.

"Turning around Indigenous disadvantage is hard work and can only happen step by step.

"We will not make headway in reducing disadvantage, including in education, unless we take action on fundamentals like community safety, parenting skills, and basic law and order.

"Many may find these issues difficult to believe but unless we take these issues head on there will not be a great leap forward in education for Indigenous students."