Hard road for indigenous boarders

Lex Hall; 29/4/10

A¬†family-style boarding program has lifted retention rates for indigenous students to 90 per cent as Marrara Christian College battles the bleak literacy and numeracy statistics plaguing students who come from a “lost generation of parents” in remote communities. For the past 10 years the school, on the outskirts of Darwin, has run what it calls the Family Home Groups boarding program, in which indigenous students from remote communities live in the suburbs with “house parents”. Melissa Mallinson and her husband, Karl, have been house parents at the 630-student school for the past six years and are looking after nine boys, aged 12 and 13. For most of the 90 students in the program, the transition to academic life is long. “In the communities there are no boundaries. So it takes about six months before they realise they’re safe and secure. Then things start changing.”

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/aboriginal-australia/hard-road-for-indigenous-boarders/story-e6frgd9f-1225859631663; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/aboriginal-australia/punish-parents-to-save-indigenous-kids-says-mal-brough/story-e6frgd9f-1225859653120; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/education-fails-indigenous-kids/story-e6frg6zo-1225859601205