$50,000 donation to make a difference in young lives

26/04/2017BY: Tracey Mesken

​The WorkPac Group and Clontarf Foundation are changing the lives of Indigenous boys

The WorkPac Group is partnering with the Clontarf Foundation to improve education and employment prospects for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

The Clontarf Foundation provides school-engagement mechanisms for Indigenous male students who would otherwise not attend or have low school attendance.

Clontarf academies are located across Australia and focus on mentoring and supporting Indigenous school boys to improve their education and employment prospects as well as their self-esteem and life skills.

WorkPac will be contributing $50,000 to the Foundation to support their work across Australia. The program also receives state and federal government funding.

This money will help to change the lives of more Indigenous students by helping the Foundation to expand its program.

National Manager of the WorkPac Group’s Indigenous division, JobTrail, Julian Genn says the program is helping close the gap through education, sport, and employment initiatives.

“I travelled to some academies around Toowoomba and saw first-hand the kind of work Clontarf does and how funding is spent,” said Mr Genn.

“In the morning, we travelled to each boy’s home, collecting them for school.

“First up was Rugby League training on the school grounds followed by breakfast in the Clontarf room; The boys then went off to school but were able to come back to the Clontarf room during the day as required.

Clontarf Camp boys posing

“They’re taught to introduce themselves to new people in the room and to make eye contact, these kids are highly engaged and it was easy to see the value Clontarf is providing”.

The Foundation also holds Clontarf Camps and boys who meet attendance KPIs are invited to attend.

Ongoing mentoring and support is provided by Clontarf and WorkPac after the boys leave school and into their employment.

“The ultimate aim of the Indigenous services division of the WorkPac Group is to improve Indigenous life outcomes and through genuine partnerships with foundations like Clontarf, we can deliver meaningful and lasting change”.

The Clontarf Foundation achieves consistent results in helping close the gap in education, employment and health.

Year to year the retention average for the academy is 90%, attendance averages 80%, and on average 80% of Clontarf graduates remain engaged in employment or further training and study 12 months after leaving school.

According to a 2014 independent study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting, the economic impact of the academies delivers significant return on investment.

Every dollar spent in maintaining a boy in the program returns $8.13 to the state over his working life.