A proposed tertiary institution for the Northern Territory will be given a multimillion-dollar boost to further development plans.
The government announced on Friday it would provide $6.4m towards the Yolngu people’s long-held vision for a brand new tertiary Garma Institute in northeast Arnhem Land.
“This is a vision for the future – ensuring the next generation of students can live and learn on-country,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
“This has been a long aspiration of the Yolngu people.
“This partnership shows how governments can work alongside communities, meeting their needs and helping them realise their full potential.”
The announcement came on the eve of the 24th annual Garma Festival, which is being held in Arnhem Land on August 5 and 6.
The Yothu Yindi Foundation has been working to design and develop the Garma Institute providing on-country learning for Yolngu people from early childhood education to university.
Yothu Yindi Foundation CEO Denise Bowden says the institute is “groundbreaking and exciting work”.
“The Garma Institute is about getting the best education outcomes possible for Yolngu students,” she said.
“This funding will enable the Yothu Yindi Foundation to invest in the extensive consultation and planning required to ensure the long-term success of the Garma Institute.”
The Yothu Yindi Foundation already offers a Yolngu-centred curriculum for school students through the independent bilingual Dhupuma Barker School at Gunyangara.
The school has continued to drive strong school attendance rates and improved education outcomes.
Consultations with community and stakeholders about the curriculum offered in the new facility will begin at this year’s Garma Festival.
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said Yothu Yindi Foundation and Yolngu community leaders have been dedicated to working towards building the Garma Institute for many years.
“This investment is a step towards realising the dream of the Yothu Yindi Foundation for a world-class education hub for Yolngu people in northeast Arnhem Land,” she said.
“The Garma Institute will give Yolngu people the opportunity to continue their education journey, without having to move away from their family and community.”