TRANSCRIPT: Clontarf Announcement, Tuesday 14 May
Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister. Minister of infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. I'm very proud to be here today beside the Nationals candidate for Cowper, Pat Conaghan. And Jeff Hardy. Jeff Hardy who is a celebrated rugby league player in Australia who played for Illawarra St. George and Cronulla Sutherland. Cronulla Sutherland?
No. Cronulla. Well, Scott Morrison won't like the fact that you did play for Cronulla, but I know you're great mates with Scott Morrison. And you live in his electorate. Hopefully you'll vote for him too. But, anyway, that's about it for you. But the fact is, Jeff Hardy has done so much for the Clontarf Foundation. The Clontarf Foundation, which has meant such a world of difference for the lives of young aboriginal boys and girls and so many kids who've got now, through that Clontarf Foundation, through a fund begun by the original Fremantle Dockers coach Gerard Neesham, who had an idea to get kids back into school and stay in school more often. Through sport. Through the community capacity building of sport. Through the moral boosting powers of sport.
And what we're announcing today, the Australia Federal Government, the Liberal Nationals government is announcing a $50 million national program, national boost to the Clontarf Foundation. So for schools such as Orara, such as resourcing, boosting those particular schools right across the nation, they're going to receive that additional funding. Which is going to mean such a world of difference. So that the youngsters behind me, and some of them are not so young, but they're great kids. And we want them to be their best selves. We want them to realize their potential. We want them to be able to attend school, and to play their football, and also for the girls to play their sports too. Because Clontarf is all about making sure that young people can realize their potential.
And that's why the Australia Government is investing an additional $50 million in Clontarf, because we know that it works. We know that it has the power to be able to give kids the ability and the spirit to be their best selves. Jeff, I'd like you to say a few remarks, and then I'll answer any questions.
Thank you Deputy Prime Minister on behalf of the Clontarf Foundation. This is a significant day in our history. This next round of funding means so much to us. We will continue to work in our 126 academies right across Australia, so we know now that we can continue to work with them over the next four years. We know that we can also look to grow, and go to places where there is a need and a demand for our program, which is fantastic, and get to more boys. We currently sit at around 8,300 boys and we want to get to 10,000 boys as soon as we can, and make sure none of them miss out. It is significant that the boys standing behind us will have mentors in their lives that will help them get through school. We monitor school attendance, we monitor school to year 12 completion and then we monitor the lads going into employment or further training.
So today is a significant day for that.
Fantastic. And I know first hand what Clontarf can mean. Because in Wagga Wagga, my home town, Mount Austin High School was a partner in the Clontarf Program and I've seen how that builds that school. How it builds the students of that school to be their best selves. So well done Jeff. Fantastic announcement.
Thanks for all that you've done. Not only for these kids but for kids right across Australia. Well done.
As a proud Aboriginal person, I'm proud to say I'm part of a foundation that's working to help our community.