New funding should improve access to secondary education for students from the Torres Strait Islands. 

The federal government has announced it will provide $4.7 million to Torres Strait Kaziw Meta, an on-Country boarding facility located on Thursday Island. 

The funding aims to enhance the quality and capacity of the boarding facilities, enabling students to remain closer to home while pursuing their education.

“This is great news for First Nations students from the Torres Strait Islands who will have a quality option to study closer to home and not have to move to the mainland. This is an important way for young people to stay connected to Country and sea,” says Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney.

Currently, Torres Strait Kaziw Meta can accommodate 66 boarders. With the new funding, the facility plans to extend the Waiwi Meta boarding house to support an additional six students. 

Additionally, the investment will be used to upgrade security and safety measures, improve the study environment, and construct a new residence for boarding support staff.

This expansion is in response to the growing demand for boarding facilities in the region. 

The increased capacity will help reduce the waiting list and provide more students with access to secondary education close to their communities. The initiative is expected to lead to better education outcomes, increased participation, attendance, and retention rates among First Nations youth in the Torres Strait.

The funding is part of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Children and Schooling program.