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Minister opens Kitjarra Centre

Attendees at The Gordon's official Ministerial opening of the Kitjarra CentreIndigenous students now have a place to call their own as part of a major upgrade of Geelong’s Gordon Institute.

The $450,000 Kitjarra Centre was officially opened in 2021 by Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney. The Centre houses The Gordon’s Aboriginal Education Unit and is an important part of the Victorian Government’s Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026, which is designed to increase engagement and participation of Aboriginal students in vocational education and training.

Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney said,“The Kitjarra Centre provides a culturally safe and welcoming environment for indigenous learners to build their confidence in their VET studies and enable students of all ages to engage or re-engage with study and increase their work options.”
The education and training program at The Gordon helps young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to understand their identity and gain skills needed to get a job by allowing them to develop literacy, numeracy, confidence, goal setting and vocational skills.

Targeting young people aged between 15 and 17, the government has invested almost $468,000 in a program to support 30 people to study one of three courses - Certificate I, II and III in Mumgu-Dahl tyama-tiyt, which means ‘message stick of knowledge’.

Mr Joe Ormeno, CEO at The Gordon said, “This exciting project came as a result of extensive consultation with industry and most importantly, the indigenous community.” 

The 194 square metre centre includes a program office, three meeting rooms, store, kitchenette, and a teaching space for 24 students who will also have access to course information, mentoring and tutoring services, financial advice, and information about Abstudy and other assistance schemes.  
The Kitjarra Centre is being developed as part of a $23.5 million refurbishment and modernisation of The Gordon’s culinary school to give students opportunities in first-rate facilities and boost the region’s economy.

Kitjarra Wurrun Ngeen means ‘our talking house’ in the Wadawurrung language.

Media provided by the office of the Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education.