Mind the gap

MORE than 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school girls gathered in Kings Park on Monday to highlight the education gap in WA.

Research published by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre in June shows WA has the worst education gap in the country between Aboriginal and TSI, and non-Aboriginal students.

Only 44.7 per cent of Aboriginal and TSI students who start high school finish year 12, compared to 82.8 per cent of non ATSI students.

• The Walk Together event at Kings Park on Monday. Photo supplied

The Walk Together event at Kings Park was part of a three-day leadership camp for ATSI girls, run by the Girls Academy, a not-for-profit that aims to improve their academic performance and health.

Tyra Bonney from Coondanup Girls Academy said the organisation was inspirational.

“It gives me a reason to get up and come to school,” she says.

“Now I believe I can be somebody.”

GA was founded by former Olympian basketballer Ricky Grace in 2004, and now 80 per cent of its staff are ATSI women and it works with 14 high schools across WA.

GA participants graduate at a rate 11 per cent higher than the national average for ATSI students and they have a higher class attendance rate.

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