• Offer opportunities for students to engage with a university, training and employment pathway.

  • Increase the Indigenous health workforce. 

  • Provide students with health literacy that can be taken back to their home communities.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities experience:

  • Fewer opportunities to participate in the health workforce. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders constitute 2.5% of Australiaís population, however only 1.8% of Australiaís health workforce is made up of Indigenous workers. This 1.8% includes cleaners, food preparation staff, maintenance workers, as well as trained health professionals. 
  • Mortality rates almost twice as high as that of the rest of Australia, and five times as high for those aged between 35-44.
  • Poorer health, suffer from more chronic diseases, and subsequently have a shorter life expectancy than non-Indigenous populations in Australia.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities experience:

  • Poorer educational outcomes than any other group living in Australia. 
  • Student attendance rates (per cent) Year 1 to 10 combined, by Indigenous status and remoteness, Semester 1, 20156:
    Remote areas:
    Non-Indigenous (91.9%); Indigenous (78.6%)
    Very remote areas:
    Non-Indigenous (91.5%); Indigenous (67.4%) 

  • In 2014/15, just over one in five (21%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were enrolled in formal study, including 15% who were studying full-time. Females were more likely than males to be studying (23% compared with 19%), and people in non-remote areas were twice as likely as those in remote areas to be studying (24% compared with 12%).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student attendance rates for 2015 were lower than for non-Indigenous students for all year levels. Indigenous and non-Indigenous attendance rates both fall at higher year levels, however the decline for Indigenous students is more rapid. As a result the attendance gap increases at higher year levels. 
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with low educational attainment tend to have poorer health outcomes, lower incomes and reduced employment prospects.
  • Non-Indigenous students are four times more likely than Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to have a Bachelor Degree or higher qualification, 21% compared to 5%.
  • NAPLAN results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students vary sharply by remoteness. For example, in 2015, 82% of all Indigenous students in metropolitan areas met or exceeded the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Year 5 reading compared to only 38 per cent of students in very remote areas.
  • In 2015, Indigenous Year 5 students in metropolitan areas were, on average, twice as likely to meet national minimum standards in reading as Indigenous students in very remote areas.
  • Only 23% of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth aged between 15-19 years are estimated to have completed Year 12 and/or gained a Certificate II or higher qualification compared to 86% of the Australian population as a whole.
  • A recent study has also shown that Indigenous boys have a lower level of school attendance than Indigenous girls and this difference between boys and girls is larger for Indigenous students than for non-Indigenous students.