It is with great pleasure that I can announce the Federal Government has extended our existing agreement to fund 10,500 boys out to 2022, ensuring the continuity of our programme for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, our health programme funded by the Federal Government has been extended for another year, allowing us to continue delivering vital health checks and awareness sessions for our boys.
Both of these agreement extensions are testament to the efficacy of our programme and I want to thank Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison, Minister for Aboriginal Australians the Hon. Ken Wyatt and their respective teams for their ongoing support.
Speaking of Minister Wyatt, I want to use this opportunity to congratulate him on his appointment as the first Aboriginal man to the Minister of Indigenous Australians portfolio. Ken has been a long-time friend and supporter of the Foundation and I look forward to working with him as we strive towards our goal of improving the education and life outcomes of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
In Term 1 we undertook our largest expansion in the twenty year history of the Foundation and I’m pleased to say that all of our new academies are already having an impact on their respective communities. We continued our momentum into Term 2 with the opening of two more academies, located in Whyalla in SA and South Grafton in NSW. Whyalla is the fourth academy to open in SA this year while South Grafton represents the 20th new NSW academy in 2019 – a staggering achievement. Welcome to all of our new participants and staff and I look forward to visiting your academies in the near future.
Looking ahead to next term, we are set to open another two academies which will take us to a total of 116 academies in 128 schools across the country.
Located at Toronto High School in NSW, Toronto Academy is expected to support 80 Year 7-12 students once it has embedded itself into the school.
The second new academy represents something of a first for the Foundation. Palmerston Primary Academy, supporting students from both Driver Primary School and Moulden Park Primary School in Palmerston NT, will be our very first standalone primary school programme. The academy will feature a familiar but tailored activity plan designed to better prepare younger boys for their eventual transition into secondary school. I’m excited for what this academy could achieve for the Palmerston community and wish the team all the best.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from our partners and individual donors in the first half of this year. Whether it’s a financial partnership or a donation via our website, your support, big or small, allows us to keep doing what we do. I know our boys appreciate your generosity and on behalf of all 8,000 of them, thank you.