Twenty years of more ago members of the Indigenous community approached us to assist them to develop a youth hostel.
Macleay Vocational College Kempsey
Twenty years of more ago members of the Indigenous community approached us to assist them to develop a youth hostel. Four years ago, the Macleay Vocational College could no longer resist the community – but in particular the circumstances of the students who were enrolling in our newly formed Independent School – Macleay Vocational College (MVC). Macleay Vocational College seeks to enrol students who have been suspended or expelled from traditional education settings, in and out of juvenile detention, chronic truant or bullied at school. Of the current enrolment of 91 students - 70%are Indigenous enrollment and 60% male. We have been trying unsuccessfully for four years to secure funding to build the hostel. However Government departments and private enterprise have offered to assist by: • NSW Department of Housing (State Government) has donated a 3 ha block specific to this purpose • A Rose Bay solicitor has offered a similar land grant (dependent on securing funding for the Hostel) • The Kempsey Shire Council (Local Government) has agreed to be a founding partner in the project • A local Architect has donated his services to develop a Design Concept for the Hostel • Huntley Environmental (a multi-national) has offered to build the Hostel from recycled materials – if funding can be secured • Kempsey Shire Council has agreed to build the road to give additional access to the Hostel Macleay Vocational College has been declined funding from three sources this year: * The Federal Attorney General's Department (fourth time in four years) * The Community Fund - Federal * NSW State Government Although our community is impoverished, they are beginning to realise the value of what we are doing at the Macleay Vocational College. In 2000 our community donated $1,000 to our organisation to preserve the vocational program – our College has now been twice recognised as ‘international best practice’. Recently the Principal was honoured with the award of a Paul Harris Fellow by Kempsey West Rotary Club. A copy of our inaugural School Magazine – a history of our considerable achievement is available from our webpage. Your interest in our Hostel project is most appreciated. Education is the key, access and equity is our dream and our goal. Jann Eason Principal Macleay Vocational College Kempsey http://www.mvwlc.nsw.edu.au