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Education to Employment Scheme 1999–2010

Established in 1999, the Education to Employment Scheme awarded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students with scholarships to help them complete their secondary studies while providing mentorship and work experience opportunities for them from within Queensland Government.   

People with awards standing in front of banners
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education to Employment Scheme Award Presentation Day, Justice & Attorney-Generals, Group Photo, 15 Feb 2007

The scheme involved 3 students who were mentored by the Main Roads department. Following the 1999 success, the then Department of Main Roads increased its scholarship offering to 6. Our sister agency, Queensland Transport, the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Primary Industries also joined the scheme taking on their own students to sponsor and mentor.

A person presenting an award to a student
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education to Employment Scheme Award Presentation Day, Justice & Attorney-Generals, Ms Ulla Zeller (Assistant Director-General, Justice & Attorney-Generals) & Michael Wuruki (Cavendish Road State High School), 15 Feb 2007

By 2004 the scheme had grown exponentially. It was being used by 13 state government agencies, shared federally through the Australian Taxation Office, and its model was adopted across private institutions including Suncorp. Main Roads had increased their own scholarship intake to 11, while Queensland Transport awarded 8, to students across the state. The growth of the scheme was a direct result of us taking an active lead in consulting, negotiating and working collaboratively with supporting agencies.

A person speaking at a lectern
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education to Employment scheme Award 2005

The program ran to 2010 with the final scholarship we gave being to two Year 10 students at Tagai College, Thursday Island. Maritime Safety Queensland provided financial assistance to the students to assist with education costs over the final 3 years of their secondary education and provided work placements for the students within Maritime Safety Queensland.