For the first time in NSW, Clontarf Foundation is bringing 100 male Indigenous Year 12 students from across its NSW academies for an ‘Induction Camp’ in Newcastle from February 9 to 11.
Funded in part by the Greater Charitable Foundation (GCF) in 2016, Clontarf operates in-school re-engagement programs for young Indigenous males in academies throughout regional NSW and Sydney. GCF funding of almost $200,000 is supporting academies in Orange, Singleton, Dubbo, Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Taree. GCF CEO Anne Long said Greater Bank staff support the program in local regions.
The bank’s Newcastle branch manager, Jye Smith, will present a financial literacy workshop and provide students with youth banking accounts during a luncheon on Friday February 10 from 12.30 at Charlestown Leagues Club. He will also share his own story of finding employment post school. Greater Bank staff will join the boys at the Indigenous All Stars NRL match at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
“Clontarf’s work closely aligns with Greater Bank and its Charitable Foundation’s focus on improving life outcomes for families and communities,” Ms Long said.
Clontarf’s NSW zone manager, Brendan Maher said the camp is designed to inspire, motivate and prepare the boys to finish year 12.
He said Clontarf uses sport and full-time mentoring to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Indigenous men to equip them to participate meaningfully in society. Since opening its first Academy for 25 boys in 2000 the Foundation has grown to cater for about 5,500 boys in 92 schools across Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, NSW and Queensland. There are 26 Clontarf academies in NSW.
“We believe that failure to experience achievement when young, coupled with a position of under-privilege can lead to alienation, anger and more serious consequences,” Mr Maher said.
“To tackle these and other issues, we give young men an opportunity to succeed and in turn raise their self-esteem through football Academies established in partnership with local schools,” he said.
“We use the existing passion that Indigenous boys have for Australian Rules or Rugby League to initially attract them to school and then as a tool to keep them there.
“With our program in place year-to-year retention is not less than 90%, school attendance rates average 80%, and more than 80% of our Year 12 leavers remain engaged in employment or further study 12 months after leaving school.”
The 2017 Greater Charitable Foundation funding round will open on February 28. Charities have until March 20 to submit proposals for funding of up to $350,000 to run programs that improve the lives of families and communities in NSW and south east Queensland.
Media information: Brendan Maher Clontarf Foundation on 0418 966 843 www.clontarf.org.au or Craig Eardley (Greater Bank) on 0437 477 493 www.greaterfoundation.org.au. Interviews with students possible.