Activity Report 2013/2014

Aboriginal leaders have been focusing efforts on the reduction of welfare dependency and increased self-reliance and pride for their people. The challenge in remote Aboriginal communities is enormous.

Read more in our Activity Report 2014

For Aboriginal Communities in less remote regions where the bulk of the Indigenous families whose children are supported by the Foundation live, the challenge remains. These Communities still experience racism which creates negative attitudes and lack of self confidence. Education is an important attribute to have to confront such challenges. Through education, 672 Indigenous students who were recipients of grants from the Foundation in 2014 are better placed to be self-reliant and proud to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I also take this opportunity to point out that the Victorian Government’s decision to replace the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in 2015 with an alternative funding arrangement focused on giving funding directly to the poorest schools rather than to low-income families, is expected to have a direct negative impact on many of the Indigenous families that receive assistance from the Foundation for the funding of uniforms, books and camps. These families choose an independent school based education for their children but under the new funding arrangement, only 19% of the Government funding is allocated to non-government schools.

As a consequence, the Foundation anticipates an increased demand for funding assistance in 2015 from our Indigenous students to help defray the costs of school uniforms, books and extra-curriculum activities. The generosity of our supporters is so important in helping to meet this ongoing and growing request for assistance. On behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and particularly the students, I thank you for your interest and generosity.

John Arthur OAM

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