The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation (QATSIF) will celebrate 45 Mackay students graduating Year 12 on scholarships in a ceremony at Central Queensland University.
QLD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Mark Furner said the QLD Government was investing an extra $4.2 million towards the QATSIF scholarship program until 2021, bringing the total additional investment to $6 million.
“I am proud we are investing in this scholarship program, which builds bright, positive futures for thousands of Queensland’s Indigenous students, who may otherwise miss out on senior schooling,” Mr Furner said.
“To date, more than 6000 scholarships have been awarded to students in more than 250 schools from all sectors throughout the state, including in regional and remote locations.
“In 2016, QATSIF scholarship recipients made up almost half of the state’s estimated Indigenous Year 12 cohort.
“The additional funding committed in 2017’s budget means an extra 2000 Indigenous students will now have the opportunity to complete their studies, graduate and enter the job market.
“The QLD Government will continue to remove obstacles to education and support proven programs to close the gap in education, which we know also leads to better job outcomes.”
Member for Mackay Julianne Gilbert congratulated the latest round of Mackay students on their tremendous achievement.
“We know costs can be a barrier and this is why initiatives such as QATSIF scholarships are so important in relieving financial burdens on families and students,” Ms Gilbert said.
“This program makes senior high school education, including gaining a Queensland Certificate of Education, a viable option for more Indigenous students.
“These graduates should be incredibly proud of what they have accomplished so far, and I wish them all the best for an exciting future ahead.”
Chair of the QATSIF Board of Advice, Professor Cindy Shannon, said she was grateful to have the benefit of a good education and felt privileged to lead the organisation in her current role since 2008.
“Fellow Members of the Board of Advice and I celebrate the significant impact QATSIF scholarships have had on improved completion rates of Year 12 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait students in Queensland,” Professor Shannon said.
“The sustained growth of QATSIF scholarships over a seven year period has made a significant contribution to improved outcomes and a ‘closing of the gap’ of which we are extremely proud.”
QATSIF Patron Aunty Ruth Hegarty said she wears her QATSIF badge with pride, because it reminds her of all Year 11 and 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders working hard at their studies and valuing their scholarships.
“To hear and to see the determined look on such young faces convinces me that their efforts to succeed are firmly fixed and the future looks good.”
Source: QLD Government