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$3 Million in grants provided to help disadvantaged Australian students

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Google’s philanthropic arm, provides $3M of funding to Schools Plus to help children and young people from less advantaged backgrounds access the skills they need to thrive in the 21st Century.  

This grant will help young people prepare for the future workforce through skills including responsible AI, critical thinking, and digital literacy. 

Schools Plus has received $3M from to fund educational initiatives for children and young people from less advantaged backgrounds. 

“In order to foster innovation across our communities, we need to make sure that our young people are ready with the skills and mindsets to tackle the challenges of the future. That’s why I’m thrilled that through, Google’s philanthropic arm, we’re giving $3 million dollars in funding to Schools Plus,” said Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia. 

Pioneered by David Gonski AC, Schools Plus is a not-for-profit organisation that is working to close the education gap caused by disadvantages. It believes that all children should have access to a great education, regardless of background or postcode. 

Google Australia CEO Melanie Silva and Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn announced the grant in Canberra, alongside a number of MPs, dignitaries, and Google and Australian Schools Plus staff. 

The funding will be used to support Schools Plus’ work preparing around 10,000 Australian children with access to vital digital literacy skills, including innovative technologies such as responsible AI, and the critical thinking skills and dispositions for learning that are required for the 21st-century workplace. 

Google Australia CEO, Melanie Silva, said the $ 3 million grant would help Schools Plus to develop an innovative new program that supports kids in some of Australia’s most disadvantaged areas.  

“It’s going to help them get ready — with creative and critical thinking skills  — to jump into the STEM-related jobs our economy needs most,” she said. 

It will also enable teachers to build further capacity and confidence in STEM teaching practices while building essential connections between schools, universities, and work environments. 

Schools Plus was founded following a recommendation in the first Gonski Review, which identified a need for philanthropic funding in schools in order to help close the education gap caused by disadvantage. Many of these children and young people are considered to be three years behind their peers in some areas of schooling.  

“We are blessed with a wonderful education system in Australia, but we also know that not every child has access to the same opportunities. As a result, they do not always have equality when it comes to their education and their future,” said Rosemary Conn, Schools Plus CEO.  

Schools Plus works with teachers and schools in disadvantaged areas to empower them with funding, coaching and resources to implement bespoke projects that will help their students succeed.  

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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