In summary

  • Swinburne’s Moondani Toombadool Centre and Clontarf Foundation establish partnership to promote higher education pathways for Indigenous boys
  • Clontarf academies use sport as a base to encourage healthy study, lifestyle and self-discipline practices
  • The national partnership will initially focus on regional Victoria, and includes opportunities across Swinburne’s graduate and TAFE programs

Swinburne University of Technology's  Moondani Toombadool Centre and Clontarf Foundation have established a partnership to promote practical and aspirational higher education pathways and opportunities for Indigenous boys.

Clontarf Foundation delivers a national program through a network of academies operating inside local schools or colleges. The program leverages sport to attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to the school Academies and embrace healthy lifestyle, study and self-discipline practices through sport. In the past two years alone, more than 1,400 Clontarf students have graduated year 12 through the program.

The Swinburne partnership provides an opportunity to engage and connect with students across Australia, starting with students in the Bairnsdale, Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill and Warrnambool Clontarf Academies.

Moondani Toombadool Centre's Indigenous Student Services team Manager, Vicky Peters, leads the partnership and is keen to help students stretch their education muscles in new and different ways.

“We’re excited to kick off this partnership off in Victoria. Due to COVID-19 we’ve had to explore new ways and technologies to bring inspiring Swinburne educators and programs directly to the students,” says Ms Peters.

Together, we can introduce boys to potential education pathways, and help future community leaders explore their strengths and interests.”

Clontarf Foundation CEO Gerard Neesham believes the Swinburne partnership has the potential to expand the education and employment options for Clontarf participants and alumni.

“Clontarf’s partnership with Swinburne represents the Foundation’s first significant partnership with a university which is an exciting opportunity for the young men in our programme, particularly the year 12 boys who are keen to enter into tertiary studies,” says Mr Neesham.

Through the partnership, Clontarf Academy students across regional Victoria have had an opportunity to meet and engage with the MTC Indigenous Student Services Team via several online COVID Couch Sessions facilitated by Clontarf. 

Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer, Miss Lydia Bissett, has been running focussed online pathway conversations with current year 12s and planning is underway for the Clontarf Awards Nights for Swan Hill, Mildura, Robinvale, Warrnambool and Bairnsdale.

Further activities will include online workshops in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through Swinburne’s in2science program and a range of hands-on learning and mentoring across a variety of graduate and trade-based courses. Of particular interest for students is the Institute of Sports Leadership delivered in partnership with Richmond Football Club.

About the partners

Clontarf Foundation started in Western Australian in 2000 and now operates 122 Academies with 135 schools across Australia, supporting more than 9,000 participants. The Academies use football as a base to foster positive learning and personal growth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men and boys.

The partnership is part of Swinburne’s broader Indigenous schools engagement program, led by the Moondani Toombadool Centre, which includes Girls Academy, Worawa Aboriginal College, Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School, and Victorian Indigenous Business School. Swinburne also provides a range of scholarships and resources for Indigenous students looking to pursue higher education pathways.

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