Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan today opened the first residential college for public and private students in the Kimberley.
Mr McGowan said the Broome Residential College was the result of the first partnership of its kind between the State Government and Catholic Education in Western Australia
“This innovative partnership has transformed education for secondary school students in the Kimberley,” he said.
“The total investment by the State Government to establish the school in Broome, in partnership with Catholic Education, is $13.6million.
“The $9million Stage One of the college offers a boarding service for young people from remote communities in the State’s North-West. The majority of the students at the college will be indigenous.
“In the past, secondary school age students have left the region to attend schools in the South-West of the State, far from their traditional lands and families.
“So this residential college and boarding accommodation has opened at a time when remote families are urgently seeking better education and training opportunities for their children.”
The Minister said the college would give remote indigenous students an opportunity to access education and training services, preparing them for future employment.
The college can house 40 students in two 16-bed accommodation blocks and two four-bed moveable blocks.
A main block contains facilities for reception, administration, catering, indoor learning and recreation and laundry services.
The college also has a swimming pool to enhance student health and wellbeing, and to provide relief from the heat.
Stage Two is expected to be completed early 2009 and will add an extra 32 beds, a covered recreation area and extra staff accommodation.
Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said students in remote WA will have the chance to attend a school closer to home that can offer modern education and training facilities, and links with other organisations to help them reach their career goals.
“The Broome Residential College means more Kimberley students can attend the same school for the whole of their secondary education,” Mrs Martin said.
“Parents can also meet the people who are looking after and teaching their children.”
Mrs Martin said the students in residence could also benefit from health and youth support services, and sport services such as the Clontarf Football Academy.
“The Carpenter Government is investing $1billion in education capital works - more than $50million of which is being spent in the Kimberley,” she said.
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