The GO Foundation commissioned KPMG Arilla Indigenous Services to examine the correlation between the completion of further education by Indigenous students and better outcomes for those students and their communities. The research is linked below with a brief statement on the findings. The GO Foundation would like to thank KPMG Arilla Indigenous Services, Propel Group and the Department of Education and Training for their generosity with respect to the research.

Further Education and Indigenous Communities

Research Findings

The research is demonstrative of the many social, cultural, and economic benefits that can flow through the promotion of further education in Indigenous communities.   These benefits reinforce the vital importance of ensuring that all Australian’s have equal opportunity to participate socially, culturally and economically.

The literature is clear – the completion of further education by Indigenous Australians can lead to increased earning capacity, greater employment opportunities, improved health and wellbeing outcomes, and reduced interaction with the justice system. The benefits that can come from Indigenous Australians going further beyond high school with their education can stretch beyond improving and enriching the lives of Indigenous communities. They can benefit everyone.

There are complex barriers however impacting the ability and access Indigenous students face to enrol and complete further education. These barriers vary depending on individual circumstance and include socio-economic disadvantage, location, and the cost of education itself.  Another compounding factor relates to the support network surrounding each Indigenous student; the influence they have in shaping their identity, and their desire to pursue further education.

Positive enabling factors that that are likely to increase Indigenous participation in further education include enhancing the quality of school experience for Indigenous students to ensure that culture is recognised, and the aspirations of each student is developed. Additionally, providing access to career advice and guidance, and information on the various choices and pathways available for Indigenous Students is linked to increasing the quality of the school experience for Indigenous Australians.

While the report has been developed to support the GO Foundation in promoting the uptake of further education in Indigenous communities, it is clear from the literature that a concerted effort must be maintained to ensure that Indigenous Australians have the same choices as non-Indigenous Australians in entering and completing further education if they so wish.

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