A $12.8 million investment to establish an innovative accommodation project at Perth's St Catherine's College has been announced today by the Australian and Western Australian governments.
The housing project, which is being funded by the Australian Government as part of the National Partnership on Remote Housing, aims to support young Indigenous people from remote communities, allowing them to enrol and complete tertiary education.
The capacity of the Dandjoo Darbalung programme at the college, located on The University of Western Australia, will be more than doubled.
The Western Australia Housing Authority will work with St Catherine's on the procurement and construction of the project, while St Catherine's will be responsible for management and ongoing operation.
Housing Minister Peter Tinley spoke of the State Government’s commitment to providing more opportunities to Aboriginal students.
"The Dandjoo Darbalung programme offers a holistic living and learning environment that activates and celebrates Aboriginal culture and supports academic success and employability.
"This accommodation project will enable more Aboriginal students from remote communities to develop knowledge and skills that lead to employment by addressing the challenges they face.
"The McGowan Government is pleased to support the Dandjoo Darbalung programme, which has the capacity to change lives and positively affect educational outcomes for young Aboriginal people and their communities.
"It (Dandjoo Darbalung) has achieved a 90 per cent retention rate for Aboriginal students and places are in great demand. Doubling its capacity to 100 students will make it the biggest tertiary residential programme of its type in Australia."
It is expected that construction will begin late 2017 with the programme expected to be fully operational by the start of Semester 1, 2019.
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