E-news Issue 7
Wednesday, 08 September 2021
Charles Darwin University
The new partnership between CDU and Michael Long Centre will encourage more Indigenous students to consider a pathway for VET studies through sports.
The new partnership between CDU and Michael Long Centre will encourage more Indigenous students to consider a pathway for VET studies through sports.

New partnership encourages Indigenous students to study VET in sport

More Indigenous students will be encouraged to participate in vocational education and training (VET) in school under a new partnership between Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre (MLLLC).

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by CDU and MLLLC in July will increase engagement with Indigenous students and promote learning opportunities through CDU.

CDU College of Health and Human Sciences Dean Professor Dominic Upton said the partnership would increase Indigenous student enrolment and lead to better employment outcomes.

“The new partnership between CDU and MLLLC will help get more Indigenous students enrolled in VET programs,” Professor Upton said.

“Students will have the opportunity to receive high-quality education and improve their work readiness. With sports like the AFL being such a great influence on students’ lives, we are hoping this partnership can bring more education programs that Indigenous students are passionate about. This will improve school attendance and completion rates and lead to better employment outcomes for Indigenous students.”

MLLLC, managed by Australian Football League Northern Territory (AFLNT), funds education and football programs for Indigenous people through the Michael Long Foundation. MLLLC’s education programs recognise the importance of football in students’ lives and feature a distinct AFL-themed curriculum focused on life beyond sport.

Head of AFLNT Stuart Totham said AFLNT will build on the strong education and leadership programs delivered through the MLLLC by engaging CDU to support them.

“AFLNT have engaged over 1,117 students from approximately 30 remote Northern Territory communities since the inception of the programs in 2015,” Totham said.

“We are proud to have brought the vision of Michael Long into the development of MLLLC programs aiming to inspire the next generation of students from remote communities. This partnership between AFLNT and CDU will allow us to look at future opportunities to evaluate, develop and grow the programs we offer here at the MLLLC.

“AFLNT and CDU will share expertise and connections throughout remote Indigenous communities to continue inspiring students, support positive education outcomes and develop new opportunities for engagement throughout the learning journey.

“We look forward to working with the subject experts at CDU to develop a long-lasting, productive, mutually beneficial and impactful relationship over a sustained period.”

VET in school opportunities and evaluation of the MLLLC programs are the two priorities for this partnership. Other focus areas include leadership and resilience, sport governance, employment pathways, literacy and wellbeing and research projects.