Log in

Forgot your password?

Groundbreaking Indigenous youth centre for Redfern

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin broke ground on a new multi-million dollar indigenous youth centre in Redfern on Monday morning reports Jennifer Bennett on the on line edition of Central on 19th August 2008.

The National Indigenous Development Center is to be completed by August next year.

It will include a 25-meter heated swimming pool, a community sports and recreations centre and a sports training field. It will also contain multi-use classrooms and accommodation and dining facilities for up to 100 people at a time.

“The NIDC will be a fantastic community resource and will provide new education and employment pathways fro young Indigenous people in Redfern and Sydney,” said Ms Macklin.

The facility will be open to indigenous young people from across the country as well.

Ms Macklin was joined by the MP for Heffron, Kristina Keneally, Planning and Redfern Waterloo Minister Frank Sartor, and Shirley McPherson, chairperson of the Indigenous Land Commission.

Ms McPherson said the center would help young indigenous people improve themselves and their communities.

“This is what the NIDC is about - making a long-term, sustainable investment in developing our most precious resource, our young people,” she said.

Mr Sartor said the centre would also provide employment opportunities for the local indigenous community as well as training opportunities.

The centre will be built on the site of old Redfern Public School.

The ILC bought the land from the NSW Education Department in late 2006 for $14.8 million.

The development has since received another $24 million in funding from the Australian federal government.

The National Aboriginal Sporting Chance association will run health lifestyle and education programs, as will the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, while the Exodus Foundation plans to open a tutorial centre from children between 10 and 14 years of age. Up to 5,000 young people a year are expected to use the centre.

Later in the day, MP for Sydney Tanya Plibersek announced the Federal Government would provide more than $100,000 for educational initiatives targeting indigenous students as part of the Whole of School Intervention Strategy.

The initiative includes homework centres and involving parents in schools.

“This initiative… involves communities and parents working with schools to address the significant educational disadvantages experienced by indigenous students,” she said.