Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Government and AFL join forces to promote Learn. Earn. Legend!

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator The Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

The Rudd Government is teaming up with the AFL during this weekend’s Dreamtime at the ‘G’ to encourage young Indigenous Australians to stay at school and strive for a bright future.

Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services Bill Shorten today launched the Learn. Earn. Legend! campaign with the AFL.

“The Government’s goal, through sponsoring Dreamtime at the ‘G’, is to encourage young Indigenous Australians to have a go, stay at school and ensure a pathway to employment,” Senator Arbib said.

“The best thing all kids can do is get a good education. We know that the more education you have, whether that be finishing year 12, completing a TAFE qualification, an apprenticeship or a tertiary qualification, the more likely you are to get a good job.

“This is a great way for the Government to partner with the AFL heroes of young Indigenous children to send out an important positive message.”

Mr Shorten highlighted the achievements of Indigenous players in Australian Rules Football at a corporate luncheon in the lead up to Saturday’s annual Dreamtime game between Richmond and Essendon at the MCG.

“Indigenous Australians make a significant contribution to the AFL. Indigenous people represent 2.5 per cent of Australia’s population but make up 11 per cent of AFL players,” Mr Shorten said.

“In 2007 Indigenous players made up 25 per cent of the national draft.

“That’s why the AFL can play such a significant role in reaching young Indigenous Australians and spreading the message of Learn. Earn. Legend!”

Senator Arbib said the AFL continued to make significant progress in employing Indigenous Australians.

“Hiring Indigenous Australians makes good business sense. They bring unique perspective, experience and knowledge to a business and can add substantial value by contributing to business development, particularly in Indigenous markets,” Senator Arbib said.

“Partnerships like this contribute to the Government’s commitment to halving the gap in employment outcomes for Indigenous people within a decade.”

The Australian Government’s Learn. Earn. Legend! initiative aims to provide real change and a pathway for young Indigenous Australians to support themselves and their communities through education and employment.

For more information on Learn. Earn. Legend! visit the DEEWR website.