Today Minister Nigel Scullion announced funding has been secured to enable Kormilda College to keep operating into 2017. The Uniting Church welcomes the Minister’s announcement as it means the excellent outcomes achieved by staff and students at the College can continue.
The Uniting Church entered into a partnership with the Anglican Church in 1989 so Kormilda College could offer secondary education to Indigenous students, especially to those who did not have this access in their home communities.
The College Board has been able to achieve a range of positive outcomes, which may be seen when comparing the programs, staff, students and facilities of the College in 2016 with what was at Kormilda in1989, when the two church partners took over. However, the Uniting Church recognises the College Board has not been able to successfully engage with the Commonwealth concerning levels of funding for Indigenous boarding students, which remains at unsustainably low levels. There is also the issue since 2010, when three new schools opened in the Palmerston/rural area. These schools are all supported by an education system, have lower operational costs and are able to have lower fees than Kormilda. These factors have impacted the College’s day school enrolments.
However, the announcement from Minister Scullion is a game-changer. This is a great day for Kormilda College as it ends the recent uncertainty affecting the College community. The Uniting Church is most grateful to the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments for the financial support provided, as this enables the great education programs at the College to continue.