Who We Are and What We Do
The Clontarf Foundation uses a unique, innovative and highly successful approach to target one of the most at risk groups in contemporary Australian society – young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
Using the existing passion that these boys have for sport allows Clontarf to initially attract them to school, and then keep them coming. It is however, not a sporting programme – it’s about developing the values, skills and abilities that will assist the boys to transition into meaningful employment and achieve better life outcomes.
The Foundation partners with schools and communities to create ‘Clontarf academies’ which are embedded within the school grounds and education programme.
Full-time, locally based Clontarf staff mentor and counsel students on a range of behavioural and lifestyle issues while the school caters for their education needs. Any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male enrolled at the school/s is eligible to participate in the Clontarf academy.
Through the use of supportive relationships and environment, the students develop improved self-esteem and confidence which enables them to participate in education, employment and society in a positive way.
Academy activities are planned within the focus areas of education, leadership, employment, well-being, life skills and sport. In order to remain in the programme, participants must continue to work at school and embrace the objectives of the Foundation.
The Foundation’s approach has been very successful, not only in attracting young men to school and retaining them but also in having them embrace more disciplined, purposeful and healthy lifestyles.
A Brief History
Since opening its first Academy for 25 boys in 2000 the Foundation has grown to cater for over 8,000 boys in 129 schools across Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
2000Clontarf pilot programme is launched
Year 12 Leavers: 13
The Clontarf Foundation pilot programme is launched in Perth, WA with a budget of $35k.2000
2001Clontarf’s first corporate partner
Year 12 Leavers: 17
Wesfarmers becomes Clontarf’s first corporate partner.2001
2002A second academy in Kalgoorlie
Year 12 Leavers: 21
A second academy is established in Kalgoorlie, WA. 21 boys complete Year 12 at Clontarf Aboriginal College, the biggest number recorded at the school. Clontarf appoints its first Employment Officer to work with the Year 12 leavers.2002
2003Clontarf Foundation Inc. is registered
Year 12 Leavers: 21
The Clontarf Foundation Inc. is registered and the ‘Clontarf’ identity born. The Foundation has its first graduate to enrol in university.2003
2004A third academy in Geraldton WA
Year 12 Leavers: 31
A third academy is established in Geraldton WA. The inaugural Broome to Bicton concert is held in February.2004
2005A new academy in Maddington, WA
Year 12 Leavers: 61
A new academy is established in Maddington, WA. The Federal and WA Governments extend their funding commitments for a further four years.2005
2006New academies in Broome and Albany
Year 12 Leavers: 75
New academies are established in Broome and Albany, WA. 14 Clontarf boys travel to South Africa as part of an Indigenous Australian Rules schoolboy team.2006
2007Commences operations in the Northern Territory
Year 12 Leavers: 75
Clontarf commences inaugural operations in the Northern Territory with the establishment of two new academies in Alice Springs – the expansion beyond WA officially commences. The Foundation opens its first primary school programme at Nulsen Primary School in Esperance, WA.2007
2008Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits Clontarf
Year 12 Leavers: 110
Then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits Clontarf academies in Perth and Darwin and announces significant Federal Government investment in Clontarf, allowing the Foundation to expand more rapidly over the ensuing years.2008
2009Harvard University case study
Year 12 Leavers: 163
Harvard University (Boston, USA) conducts a case study on the Foundation – the first ever study of its type on an Australian not-for-profit.2009
2010Clontarf commences operations in Victoria
Year 12 Leavers: 169
Clontarf commences inaugural operations in Victoria with the establishment of academies in Bairnsdale, Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill and Warrnambool.2010
2011Her Majesty the Queen visits
Year 12 Leavers: 189
Her Majesty the Queen visits the Clontarf Academy (Waterford, WA).2011
2012Clontarf commences operations in New South Wales
Year 12 Leavers: 200
Clontarf commences inaugural operations in New South Wales with the establishment of new academies Armidale, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Inverell, Moree and Tamworth. Annual student health checks are introduced into every academy.2012
2013A national partnership with Cricket Australia
Year 12 Leavers: 253
A national partnership with Cricket Australia commences and cricket is introduced into the Clontarf programme.2013
2014Clontarf’s central administration Bentley
Year 12 Leavers: 172
Clontarf’s central administration office is moved to a purpose built office in Bentley.2014
2015Clontarf commences operations in Queensland
Year 12 Leavers: 314
Clontarf commences inaugural operations in Queensland with the establishment of academies in Toowoomba, Kingaroy, Warwick, Dalby, Cherbourg and Murgon.
The Foundation’s first academy in the Sydney metropolitan area opens at Endeavour Sports High School, Caringbah.2015
2016Clontarf Grows in New South Wales
Year 12 Leavers: 384
Clontarf rolls out the next phase of expansion in NSW, reaching new communities in Western Sydney and the Mid North Coast.2016
2017CLONTARF REACHES FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND
Year 12 Leavers: 533
New academies open in Cairns and Townsville in Queensland, taking the state to more than 1,500 participants and surpassing Western Australia as Clontarf’s second biggest state by enrolment.2017
2018Increased Federal Government funding
Year 12 Leavers: 575
Then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion announces increased Federal Government funding for Clontarf as part of its 1967 Referendum 50th Anniversary Education package. This will allow the Foundation to grow from 6,000 participants to 10,500 participants by the end of 20202018
2019Commencement in South Australia
Year 12 Leavers: 630
Clontarf commences inaugural operations in SA. New academies are also established in NSW and WA with a total of 26 new academies opening in Semester 1 – the most academy openings in a single year in Clontarf’s history.2019