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New partnerships bring larger access to education for young First Nations people

[by Madeline Jones]

Image: supplied

Sodexo Australia has forged two new partnerships with Stars Foundation and Yalari as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

 

Having worked with the Clontarf Foundation since 2019, Sodexo is proud to now partner with a range of education providers which enable Indigenous learning outcomes.

 

Sodexo’s partnership support across these three organisations will include providing work experience opportunities for Indigenous university students, supporting educational pursuits, and providing career pathways for school leavers.

 

Only 63.2% of Indigenous and Torres Strait People aged 20 to 24 completed Year 12, compared to 88.5% of non-Indigenous 20- to 24-year-olds, according to the 2016 Closing the Gap report.  

 

Although an 11-point increase since 2011, education remains one of the largest barriers to young Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people finding work.

 

Jacqui Bainbridge, Sodexo Australia Head of Indigenous Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion said: 

“We’re committed to investing in organisations which enable school attendance, vocational enrolment and study support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In doing so, we can support them to develop skills and pathways into long term, meaningful employment.”

 

Since partnering with Clontarf in 2019, Sodexo has also committed to investing time and experience into the Foundation’s participants, beyond monetary support, to provide opportunities for young Indigenous men to be exposed to successful role models and employment prospects.

 

The partnership allows Sodexo to provide young Aboriginal men with exposure to business, leading to apprenticeships and full-time employment.

 

It has become one of Sodexo’s major points of entry for onboarding Indigenous people into the business.

 

The partnership with Stars Foundation, an organisation committed to supporting young Indigenous women in their pursuit of educational and career outcomes, will broaden Sodexo’s support to the breadth of Australia’s Indigenous youth population.

 

Llew Mullins, Yalari Managing Director said: 

“As a not-for-profit, Yalari relies on funding from corporate partners like Sodexo to continue providing educational scholarships to young Indigenous people located throughout our regional, rural and remote communities.

 

We believe that taking action toward greater reconciliation is the shared responsibility of all parts of the community: business, government, industry and community. Sodexo’s support will enable us to provide our students with even more resources and opportunities for better educational and career outcomes.”

 

Andrea Goddard, Stars Foundation Founder and CEO said: 

“For the young women in our program, the full-time, intensive support we provide is often the difference between graduating or dropping out of school. The goal of our organisation is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to attend school, complete Year 12, and transition successfully into work or further study.

 

With the support of Sodexo, we are able to continue to engage and inspire our students to achieve their educational and life goals.”

 

Engaging Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander students, all three of these partnerships will work to support young individuals to complete high school, support them during further university studies or find suitable vocational pathways.

 

Mark Chalmers, Sodexo Australia CFO and Country President said: 

“From city to regional and remote, Sodexo continues to take great strides in fostering positive two-way relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, and   communities.

 

These new partnerships will allow us to amplify this work and continue to close of the gap for Indigenous Australians.”

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