Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) is proud to become a major sponsor of the Girls Academy, Australia’s leading in-school mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls. Fortescue’s sponsorship will support the Girls Academy in Perth, Roebourne and Karratha, with a view to supporting the program’s expansion into Port Hedland in the future.
Founded by Olympian and champion basketballer Ricky Grace in 2004, the Girls Academy is currently supporting more than 2,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in schools across the country. The program is embedded in partner schools and focusses on improving school attendance and graduation rates, promoting academic and personal achievement, and facilitating planning for study and careers after high school, as well as encouraging cultural connection, resilience and healthy lifestyles.
Mr Grace said, “Educated girls and young women have the potential to be powerful catalysts for change in their communities. The Girls Academy equips girls with the tools, knowledge and confidence required to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
“We look forward to a successful partnership with Fortescue that will help change lives and communities,” Mr Grace said.
Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said “Fortescue strongly supports the vision of the Girls Academy which is “Develop a Girl - Change a Community”. We have always believed training and education are the building blocks to driving sustainable change in people’s lives, careers and communities.
“We are excited to support the Girls Academy dedicated team of educators and mentors, 70 per cent of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women, to champion the next generation of Aboriginal female leaders in our workforce and our community,” Ms Gaines said.
Fortescue has worked with Ricky Grace for over a decade, having supported the Up4It program, a school-based initiative delivering healthy messages and school attendance incentives to remote schools in the Pilbara, designed specifically to improve the attendance rates of Aboriginal students in remote Western Australian schools.