The Clontarf Foundation uses a unique, innovative and highly successful approach to target one of the most at risk groups in contemporary Australian society – young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
Using the existing passion that these boys have for sport allows Clontarf to initially attract them to school, and then keep them coming. It is however, not a sporting programme – it’s about developing the values, skills and abilities that will assist the boys to transition into meaningful employment and achieve better life outcomes.
The Foundation partners with schools and communities to create ‘Clontarf academies’ which are embedded within the school grounds and education programme.
Full-time, locally based Clontarf staff mentor and counsel students on a range of behavioural and lifestyle issues while the school caters for their education needs. Any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male enrolled at the school/s is eligible to participate in the Clontarf academy.
Through the use of supportive relationships and environment, the boys develop improved self-esteem and confidence which enables them to participate in education, employment and society in a more positive way.
Academy activities are planned within the focus areas of education, leadership, employment, well-being, life skills and sport. In order to remain in the programme, participants must continue to work at school and embrace the objectives of the Foundation.
The Foundation’s approach has been very successful, not only in attracting young men to school and retaining them but also in having them embrace more disciplined, purposeful and healthy lifestyles.
For more information on the Clontarf Academy program, click here.