It’s been a huge start to the year for the Girls Academy!
So far this year, we have seen new Academies kicking off in Canobolas, Dubbo, Gunnedah, Kempsey, Melville and Muswellbrook in New South Wales and Balga, Esperance, Girrawheen and Kiara in Western Australia. In welcoming these new Academies to our existing sixteen Academies in the program, we are now without doubt the leading provider of support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls at the high school level in Australia.
With the new Academies on board, we are now supporting 2,000 girls across three states, in Western Australia, the northern territory and Western Australia. With our 2018 Term 1 expansion into Queensland already in the planning stage, we will welcome another 500 girls to the program, taking us to 2,500 girls.
We are also very happy to announce that in May the Federal Government pledged an extra $4 million to support the expansion of our program to support more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls around Australia. The increased funding, provided as part of the 1967 Referendum 50th Anniversary Indigenous Education Package announced by the Prime Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, will enable expansion of the Girls Academy program to a further 1,000 girls by the end of 2019. The expansion into Queensland and preliminary discussions around expansion into Victoria now positions us as a national program and this is something we are very proud of.
I would like to thank everyone involved in the program including our amazing staff, our generous sponsors and supporters and most importantly our girls, for making us such a fantastic organisation. The organisation’s success is down to our collective dedication to do our best to ensure that the gap is closed for school aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls.
We look forward to our program really being bedded down in our new Academies in the second half of 2017 and the ongoing achievements of our existing Academies. It really is a privilege to lead this organisation and work with so many fantastic people. I hope to see you soon on my travels.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder