Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Work begins on Aboriginal-Led education campus

The Victorian Government has begun construction of a state-of-the-art Aboriginal-led educational, sporting, cultural and community centre on Yorta Yorta Country in Shepparton.

Parliamentary Secretary for First Peoples, Christine Couzens, today joined Yorta Yorta elders, the Rumbalara Football Netball Club, Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne to mark the start of construction of the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence (MCRE).

“Delivering new accessible and modern facilities will help the First Nations and sporting communities in Shepparton attract more players, host more events and draw even bigger crowds, driving economic growth and wellbeing for the area,” said Ms Couzens.

The State Government is investing $30 million in Australia’s first Aboriginal-led pathways-based university – home to the Munarra Academy – that it says will provide programs from the Academy of Sport, Health and Education, the Kaiela Institute, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative and more.

MCRE will deliver culturally responsive education, employment, health and wellbeing programs that drive broad, long-term economic benefits and shared prosperity for the region and Victoria, said Minister for Treaty and First Peoples, Gabrielle Williams.

“We are creating education and employment pathways so local First Nations communities can drive economic growth for their regions – the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence provides the Shepparton community with the infrastructure they need to make that happen,” the Minister said.

Indigenous-led company TVN On-Country is building the pioneering new campus, with the centre expected to open to the community in 2024.

The design of the centre celebrates First Nations knowledge, culture and entrepreneurship, with Indigenous plantings and artwork. The campus will include an Elder’s lounge, yarning rooms, teaching spaces, a wellbeing courtyard, event spaces, community meeting rooms and co-working areas.

“The Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence is a demonstration of the strong allyship between the Rumbalara Football Netball Club, The University of Melbourne, the Kaiela Institute, and the Andrews Labor Government,” said Chairperson for Munarra Limited, Travis Morgan.

“It shows what is possible when a joint commitment of delivering social, community and economic prosperity is adopted by all as an everyday focus, with benefits for the region and nationally.”

The construction of Munarra is a flagship project in the Government’s ongoing work to supporting First Nations-led initiatives and self-determination.

More information on the Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence is available here.

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