[singlepic id=328 w=320 h=240 float=left]Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Curtis Pitt, today announced more than $1 million in scholarships to help hundreds of Indigenous students complete their senior studies.

Mr Pitt said the scholarships, supported by the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation would help 315 students at around 40 schools across the state.

“Education is important. It’s the key to a better, brighter future and each and every one of the scholarship holders has an opportunity to turn that key and open the door to a world of learning,” Mr Pitt said.

“The scholarships will help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by increasing the proportion of Indigenous young people to achieve a Queensland Certificate of Education.”

Minister Pitt said the State Government’s Cape York welfare reform strategy also addresses education as a key to ending social exclusion.

“The Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy started operating in Aurukun and Coen in January last year as part of the trial education reform,” he said.

“In the space of a year we have seen significant improvements in literacy levels and student behaviour. I congratulate the students and the academy on their success,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the academy’s curriculum covers three learning domains – class, culture and club.

“It includes tailored teacher training and coaching, health and recreation activities and traditional language,” he said.