Education is Crucial to Closing the Gap

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Education is Crucial to Closing the Gap

10 February 2010

A recent report to the United Nations has reinforced the crucial importance of education and the need for scholarship opportunities such as those offered to Aboriginal people by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.

The Report on the State of the World's Indigenous People's devotes an entire chapter to the crucial need for education for our people, North West Councillor for the peak NSW body, Steve Gordon, said today.

"The report notes that the education attainment gap between Indigenous peoples and the rest of the population remains critical," he added.

"Every effort needs to be made to close that gap.

"The Report has strongly re-emphasised that education is a fundamental human right, in itself, and a primary vehicle for people to contribute both at an individual and community level.

"The recent release of this report is a timely reminder that we must do all that we can to actively promote participation in ongoing education for our people through programs such as the NSWALC education scholarships," Councillor Gordon said.

"We are also now hearing testimonials from scholarship recipients which underline the practical importance of the scholarships on the ground," he added.*

"NSWALC's scholarships have now helped more than 230 Aboriginal students across the State further their education at all levels of the education system.

"More than $300,000 worth of scholarships were awarded last year and the recent testimonials from scholarship recipients provide real-life illustrations of the difference they can make to the lives of those who pursue their education goals.

"I'd remind everyone the deadline for scholarship applications this year is fast approaching.

"Applications will only be received until February 26."

Councillor Gordon said all relevant information on the scholarships, including application forms, is available on the NSWALC website at www.alc.org.au or can be obtained in from Margaret Dent at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) on 02 99299633

"My message is clear - make sure you apply and apply immediately," Councillor Gordon said.

"I will continue to do all he could to encourage Aboriginal people from his Region - which covers such areas as Walgett, Brewarrina, Collarenebri, Coonamble, Goodooga, Lightning Ridge, Moree and Toomelah - to complete their education.

"We must all try are best to achieve this outcome.

"After all, today there are Aboriginal magistrates, lawyers, politicians, accountants, educators, doctors, nurses and scientists," Councillor Gordon said.

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Media Contact.  Steve Gordon            0408 690 267