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NAIDOC scholarships give local schools a funding injection

SIX local schools have received a $1000 scholarship to help support Indigenous education activities. The scholarships were awarded to the HOPE Project at Mildura Primary School, Nyah District Primary School, Underbool Primary School, Cardross Primary School, St Mary’s P-8 in Robinvale and the Koorlong Primary School as part of local NAIDOC celebrations.

NAIDOC scholarships give local schools a funding injection

HOPE Project dancers following their performance at the NAIDOC celebrations.

The NAIDOC scholarship program has delivered $33,000 to schools across the Victorian Mallee since it began in 2006.

The scholarships are awarded by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority and the regional offices of the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Parks Victoria and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Speaking at the scholarship presentation at Kings Billabong, Mallee CMA chairperson Sharyon Peart said schools receiving the scholarships could use the money to either support Indigenous students or improve students’ knowledge of Indigenous culture.

“We are proud to support the NAIDOC scholarships because we see it as a valuable and meaningful way of sustaining Indigenous education in our local community,” she said.

NAIDOC Week was celebrated from July 3 to 10 this year, however the NAIDOC scholarships were presented yesterday (July 19) to allow students to return from school holidays. The scholarship presentation included cultural dancing by the HOPE Project dancers, as well as a morning tea of johnny cakes and jam, which was cooked on an open fire by the DSE Indigenous Trainees.

“The theme for NAIDOC Week this year was ‘Change – the next step is ours’, so we felt the scholarship program supported that very well,” Ms Peart said.

“We don’t place strict guidelines on how the schools spend the scholarship and we’ve found this really allows each school to direct it to where it is needed most.

“For example, the HOPE Project plans to use the scholarship funds to support students in the transition to secondary school, while Underbool Primary School may use it to run Indigenous cultural activities for students.”

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