The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal men and by doing so equips them to participate meaningfully in society. Since opening its first Academy for 25 boys in 2000 the Foundation has grown to cater for about 2,900 boys in 55 schools across Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales. The Foundation believes that failure to experience achievement when young, coupled with a position of under-privilege can lead to alienation, anger and more serious consequences. As a prelude to tackling these and other issues, participants are first provided with an opportunity to succeed and in turn raise their self-esteem.
The vehicle for achieving this outcome is Australian Rules and/or Rugby League. The Foundation uses the existing passion that Aboriginal boys have for football to attract them into school and keep them there. The programmes are delivered through a network of football academies established in partnership with local schools. Any Aboriginal male enrolled at the school is eligible to participate in the Clontarf Academy. Our Academies provide an important school-engagement mechanism for many at-risk students who would otherwise not attend or have low school attendance. Full time, locally based Clontarf staff mentor and counsel students on a range of behavioural and lifestyle issues while the school caters for their educational needs. Using a comprehensive approach of supportive relationships, a welcoming environment, and a diverse range of activities, the students develop improved self-esteem and confidence.
Academy activities are planned within the focus areas of education, leadership, employment, healthy lifestyles, life skills and football. In order to remain in the programme, participants must continue to work at school and embrace the objectives of the Foundation.
The Clontarf Foundation is a charitable not-for-profit organisation registered as an Unlisted Public Company Limited by Guarantee, which complies with the relevant Federal Government Acts in Australia.