The Victorian Government is helping more Aboriginal Victorians get into training and jobs, supporting them to connect with their culture at a new Aboriginal education centre in Geelong.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney officially opened the Kitjarra wurrun-ngeen Centre (‘our learning house’ in Wadawurrung language) at The Gordon TAFE, as part of the ongoing $23.5 million campus upgrades.
The purpose-built centre will provide students with a culturally safe space for study and career counselling, financial and wellbeing services – and will boost the TAFE’s cohort of more than 220 Aboriginal Victorian students.
It features a flexible learning space, meeting rooms, offices and a kitchen and amenities with external artworks to be designed by local artists in homage to Aunty Donna Sinclair whose mural was showcased in the Gordon’s old courtyard.
About 30 locals aged 15 to 17 years will be supported into Certificate I, II and III Mumgu-Dahl tyama-tiyt (‘message stick of knowledge’) courses, an entry to Pathways to Employment certificates – courses founded on a connection to culture and identity that will help students develop literacy and numeracy skills, confidence and goal-setting.
The Kitjarra wurrun-ngeen Centre forms an important part of the Government’s Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 to lift engagement and participation of Aboriginal learners in vocational education and training.
The Victorian Government’s upgrade of The Gordon is expected to be completed mid-2022. Four hundred jobs will be created during construction, 70 per cent of which have been allocated to workers from regional Victoria.
Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways.
Source: Vic Government