Friday 26 February 2010: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was today joined by the Governor of NSW Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Premier Kristina Keneally and Minister Jenny Macklin to launch the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, a unique and exciting new place for young Indigenous people from around to Australia to share their dreams, hopes and ambitions.
Funded and constructed by the Indigenous Land Corporation, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence will foster talent and encourage excellence by providing young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with the foundations they need to succeed in their future endeavours. Located in Sydney’s Redfern, the Centre will offer a safe environment for approximately 5,000 young Indigenous people from across the nation to be inspired and connect with the community.
Sam Jeffries, Co-chair of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Deputy Chair of the Indigenous Land Corporation, believes the launch marks a new chapter for Indigenous opportunity and achievement in Australia.
“The launch of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence is a momentous occasion for Indigenous people. It is a direct investment into the young Indigenous people of our nation and is one of the biggest and most significant single transaction investments into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ever to have been made in the history of Australia.
“The Centre will give young Indigenous people permission to think beyond the limitations of their day-to-day life and dream of a bigger future. And it will provide them with development pathways to make those dreams come true,” he said.
Shirley McPherson, Chairperson of the Indigenous Land Corporation, said the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence represents a $50 million investment by the ILC in young Indigenous people.
“The Indigenous Land Corporation has a clear mission to assist Indigenous people to acquire land so they can derive social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits. The ILC Board has always been mindful to strike a balance by acquiring land, not only in rural and remote areas, but also creating opportunity in urban areas where most of our Indigenous people live today.
“The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence was built on the site of the old Redfern Public School to create a vibrant, important and lasting national centre that will change the lives of our young people and help them to reach their full potential,” she concluded.
Prime Minister Rudd said the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence directly supports the federal government’s efforts to help overcome Indigenous disadvantage in the community.
“What the Indigenous Land Corporation has built here at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence is a world-class facility that symbolises a new era in Indigenous education, engagement and leadership.
“The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence is a place that is big on opportunities, showing people their potential and giving them the means to achieve it,” he said.
Also in attendance at the launch was Consulate-General of France Lionel Majeste-Larrouy, Indigenous elders, state and local politicians, as well as high-profile National Centre of Indigenous Excellence advocates Michael O’Loughlin, Craig Ashby, Sean Taylor and members of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Swans.
About the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence is located at 180 George Street Redfern in Sydney, and is open to all young Indigenous people Australia-wide. It was purchased and funded by the Indigenous Land Corporation and is managed in partnership with the Indigenous Land Corporation, YMCA, Exodus Foundation Tutorial Centre, National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy and Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team.
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence boasts world-class facilities including a fully equipped gymnasium and sports hall, outdoor 25-metre swimming pool, intensive literacy tutorial centre for 60 primary school students, arts/craft activity rooms, sporting field and campus accommodation for visiting groups of over 100 people.
Through its four development pathways of Sport, Learning & Innovation, Culture & Arts and Health & Wellbeing, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence will create opportunities to develop brighter futures for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from right across the country.
For more information about the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence visit http://www.ncie.org.au/
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