Australian Government focus on education will contribute to closing the gap
The 2013-14 Budget includes investments that address the Closing the gap target areas, including investments in Indigenous education, essential services, welfare reform, recognition and advocacy. The Government investments include the renewed financial commitment to the National partnership agreement (NPA) on Closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes announced in April. Additionally, these investments will assist in further improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
The education and employment funding committed includes:
- National plan for school improvement - the new Schooling resource standard directs specific additional funding to help Indigenous students achieve improved outcomes
- Indigenous education (targeted assistance) - for programs and projects (such as the Parental and community engagement program and the Sporting chance program) which increase the engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in education
- support for Indigenous students to complete secondary school and go onto university studies:
- Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) - scholarships to help young Indigenous people across the country attend boarding schools
- Indigenous youth leadership program - scholarships for Indigenous students in years 7, 8 and 11
- support for young people to get an education, skills and a job
- Youth connections program - flexible youth support services such as individualised case management (approximately 20% of participants are Indigenous)
- School business community partnership brokers - enabling schools and their communities to work together to support young people (20% have an Indigenous focus).
Welfare initiatives in Cape York will continue and municipal and essential services for remote communities will be delivered to about 340 remote communities, while the Remote airstrip upgrade program and Army Aboriginal community assistance program will also address infrastructure.
In the Budget, the Government also allocated funds for recognition and advocacy organisations and programs, including:
- National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
- Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- Reconciliation Australia.
For more Budget information of relevance to Indigenous health, including the social determinants of health, please see the links below.
Source: Australian Government