The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

10 December 2012

Former footy greats helping indigenous kids stay in school

Joint media release with
The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

Indigenous students across Queensland will be able to continue to take part in the successful ARTIE program run by the Former Origin Greats (FOGS), thanks to another $4.43 million in funding from the Gillard Government.

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and School Education Minister Peter Garrett today joined FOGs members Mal Meninga and Wally Lewis, current players including Sam Thaiday and Justin Hodges, students and teachers at an event at the Brisbane Broncos headquarters to celebrate the new funding.

The extra money will be used to expand the ARTIE (Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education) Academy which is run by the FOGS organisation. The ARTIE Academy uses sporting programs and cultural activities to help indigenous students stay in school and get an education.

The ARTIE academy will now be funded for a further four years in 21 schools in South-East and Central QLD, including expansions to Kirwan State High School and Pimlico State High School, both in Townsville.

This extra funding will enable the Widening Success program to be expanded to three primary schools: Bundamba State School in Ipswich, and Marsden State School and Morayfield State School in Brisbane.

"This is an excellent program, offering individual literacy and numeracy tutoring for high school students, and we're thrilled to see it expanded", Mr Swan said.

"FOGS are an outstanding organisation, and we're very proud to continue the Gillard Government's support for their very important work."

Mr Garrett said the funding was provided through the Government's Sporting Chance Program which uses sport to encourage indigenous students to stay in school.

"We're providing this money because we know this works. This year the ARTIE program alone is helping 1630 indigenous students complete their education, meaning they have a better chance of securing a job after they leave school," he said.

"It also helps build self-esteem, provides positive role models for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and includes a strong focus on traditional culture and learning from elders."

Executive Chairman of FOGS, Gene Miles, welcomed the new funding.

"We've seen firsthand the difference the ARTIE program is making in the lives of individual students, their families and their school communities," he said.

"We're proud of the work FOGS has been doing in QLD schools and it's great news that we'll be able to continue the program and expand it to help even more students."

The Gillard Government is determined to close the gap between the education results of indigenous and non-indigenous students, and is focused on investing in programs we know can lift results. Under our National Plan for School Improvement, every indigenous student in the country will be entitled to guaranteed extra funding, no matter what school they attend.