November 30 2017

Clontarf Foundation

By The Ian Potter Foundation

Three young Indigenous boys at the beach holding White Ribbon symbol
Clontarf Foundation Yarrabah Academy boys participate in the inaugural White Ribbon Fun Run on the Cairns Esplanade. Image: Clontarf Academy.
Clontarf Foundation
Engaging teenage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Education and Employment, Cairns
$2.5 million
5 years

This capacity-building grant supports the expansion of the successful Clontarf Academy program to six schools in Cairns, Queensland. This builds on Clontarf’s existing programs in 92 partner schools across WA, NT, QLD, NSW and Victoria involving 5,500 students in full-time mentoring and support.

The Clontarf academy program is highly successful in working with Indigenous boys that could otherwise disengage from the education system. Clontarf’s intensive wrap-around support is delivered within the school context with football (AFL and NRL codes) as the initial means of engagement. 

Young boys’ existing passion for sport is used to attract them back to school and keep them coming but this is not a sports program. Clontarf’s program is about developing the values, skills and abilities that will assist the boys to actively participate in school and then transition into meaningful employment or further training to achieve better life outcomes.

Clontarf’s ultimate goal is to ensure participants complete Year 12. However, Clontarf actively works with participants to find work experience and placements to transition to employment. Over 70% of Clontarf students go on to employment or full-time study, a clear indicator of the program’s success.