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The budget has more money for school programs for Indigenous boys than girls

Aboriginal Australians government relations Budget Indigenous children Indigenous women Australia

The recent federal budget included A$39.8 million to expand the Clontarf Foundation’s Academy program for 12,500 Indigenous boys and young men. The Clontarf Foundation aims to improve confidence in Indigenous young men, and help them finish school and find work.

A study using data from the Australian government’s grants information system found the Clontarf Foundation received A$74,809,900 in federal grants between July 2014 and July 2019.

While Clontarf’s aim to support young men is important, it receives significantly more funding than other programs, including those that support young women.

So, why are Indigenous boys’ programs receiving significantly higher funding than girls’ programs? Arguments Indigenous boys are being left behind in relation to school attendance and year 12 completion are not supported by the government’s own data.

According to the 2019 Closing the Gap report, school attendance for Indigenous girls is only 1.3% higher than attendance rates for Indigenous boys. The report also outlined only marginally more Indigenous young women (aged 20-24) are likely to have a Year 12 or equivalent qualification to their male peers — around a 3% difference.

Read the full article at The Conversation.

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