We cannot close the gap in disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians without investing in the educational opportunities of Indigenous girls and young women.
Right now, less than six in ten Indigenous female students complete secondary school as opposed to eight in ten non-Indigenous students.
Labor believes we must invest in engaging young people at school and beyond to have full opportunity to participate in further training, education and work.
Low engagement with education creates economic and social disadvantage, but when Indigenous students achieve Year 12 or its equivalent, there is almost no disparity in employment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
That is why Labor will partner with the Stars Foundation to empower Indigenous girls through education and gender equity.
We will build on their existing programs in schools in the Northern Territory, to provide 7155 student places through an expanded program in the Northern Territory and new programs in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.
The program supports Indigenous girls and young women at risk of disengaging from education, providing full-time school-based mentors including sport, art, music, dance and community experiences to achieve targets and outcomes.
There is a need to provide gender equity in school-based engagement programs for Indigenous girls and young women.
Over recent years, significant investment has been directed at male youth, resulting in improved outcomes for young Indigenous men. But this has not been the case for young women.
Labor’s $8.4 million investment will direct resources to the only national organisation solely dedicated to the engagement, development and empowerment of Indigenous girls and young women.
Labor believes we cannot be a fair and inclusive Australia without engaging and empowering Indigenous girls and young women.
More information about Labor’s positive plan is available here.