Program gives students fresh start

OVER-REPRESENTED in the courts and on the dole queue, Australia’s Koori population is in crisis, but many in the Clarence community are determined to be part of the solution.

A program developed by the Clarence Valley Industry Education Forum aims to bridge the learning gap for Aboriginal students with the help of business and the broader community.

The Fresh Start package aims to enhance student engagement in school and support transitions from high school to further education, training, employment and self-employment.

Fresh Start, now in its second year, received a $44,000 donation from the Yulgilbar Foundation this year, which will help pay for its implementation.

Yulgilbar Foundation chairman Baillieu Myer said having lived at Yulgilbar for 60 years his family was pleased to support the Fresh Start program.

“A good education and the successful transition from schools to jobs is the right of every Australian,” he said.

Forum member and head of equity and diversity at Southern Cross University, Rachel Callahan, said many Fresh Start events were planned for 2011.

“We have the introduction of enterprise learning events for Year 9, pre-employment for Year 10, numeracy and literacy ambassador events in all Forum partner schools, and stage one of the Aboriginal Learning Kit, which will be a key teaching resource for Clarence schools and a new way for Aboriginal parents to engage with education,” Ms Callahan said.

The Forum, is a community partnership between Clarence Valley Council, Department of Education and Training North Coast Region, Grafton, Maclean and South Grafton high schools, McAuley Catholic College, Induna Education and Training Unit, North Coast TAFE and Southern Cross University.

Established in 2006, the Forum works to achieve change in schools and the community through facilitating innovative partnerships between students, parents and educators.

Education and successful transition from schools is the right of every Australian

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