Release type: Joint Media Release


Better boarding school options to help close the education gap in Central Australia


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

Boarding providers are invited to apply for grants under the Australian Government’s Central Australia Boarding Response Fund to increase access to quality education for students from remote Northern Territory communities.

Funding is available for capital works projects in Central Australia to improve existing boarding facilities and build new ones to create additional places for First Nations young people who need to study away from home.

The $18 million Central Australia Boarding Response Fund was established to fund capital works projects over two years. Up to $10 million per project is available for projects that provide education opportunities for First Nations secondary school aged students. It comes after the assessment of boarding capacity and options in Central Australia announced last October by the Australian and Northern Territory governments.

Boarding continues to be an important education pathway for First Nations students from remote areas. The Government understands the importance of choice for families and communities in supporting children through their education and for options, where possible, to remain within their home communities, on-Country, or nearby. 

Improved education outcomes for youth in Central Australia remote communities will contribute to Closing the Gap targets by helping to increase the proportion of First Nations youth engaged in education and attaining year 12, leading to employment and training opportunities – and ultimately better life outcomes.

This announcement complements the $40 million allocated to all schools in the Central Australia region for On-Country Learning, as part of the $250 million landmark plan for A Better, Safer Future for Central Australia.
The Central Australia Boarding Response Fund grant opportunity is open until 9 August 2024. 

More information about the Central Australia Boarding Response Fund grant round, including the Grant Opportunity Guidelines and application details, is available on GrantConnect at

Quotes attributable to Minister Burney:

“Access to schools and education changes lives for young people. 

“In Central Australia we are changing lives by investing in better boarding schools to help close the gap. 

“Better quality boarding facilities with more places available will remove a barrier to education for First Nations young people in Central Australia who often don’t have secondary schools located close to home.

“Investing in these facilities will give more First Nations young people from Central Australia the opportunity to complete their secondary education and achieve their full potential.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Clare:

“This investment in boarding facilities in Central Australia is about supporting school students in remote Northern Territory communities. 

“This funding can go towards improving existing facilities and building new facilities.

“This builds on the $40 million investment the Albanese Government is making in Central Australian schools and the historic deal struck with the Northern Territory to double Commonwealth investment and fully fund all public schools in the NT.”