A program that started in Mount Isa has been recognised with a federal funding boost of almost five million dollars.
The Townsville Catholic Education 'Emerging Leaders Incentive Scheme' is the first of its kind in Australia, and was the concept of two Aboriginal Mount Isa teachers Tammi Webber and Krista O'Connor. The program has had outstanding results in Indigenous student outcomes in attendance, engagement and academic improvement for over 600 students in 11 secondary colleges in the Townsville diocese.
Townsville Catholic Education executive director Jacqui Francis said the program was funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2018 and the new $4.9m boost will extend it to more Indigenous students for two years.
"The additional funding will allow us to build on the program's success and prepare Indigenous secondary students to meet the challenges of schooling and adolescence," Ms Francis said.
The program encourages student attendance, academic improvement and engagement, with students moving through incentives stages each year based on their completion of criteria under the pillars of attendance, academic achievement and engagement.
Townsville Catholic Education Indigenous Education Adviser, Tammi Webber said the program has reached its current capacity, with nearly 600 students across eleven schools participating.
"The Emerging Leaders Incentive Scheme sets high expectations of our Indigenous students and families whilst rewarding and promoting a culture of high attendance, academic improvement and students fully engaged in their schooling," Ms Webber said.
"Students have the opportunity to participate in leadership, cultural and wellbeing experiences and are supported by the program to achieve their personal incentive goals."
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