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School for Aboriginal children receives first investment from children’s charity

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Save the Children Australia has made its first investment through the recently launched Impact Investment Fund – a loan to Ngutu College in consortium with seven leading impact investors.

Ngutu College in Woodville North, South Australia is an incubator space for redesigning the concept of schooling. It aims to integrate Aboriginal knowledges and the arts into a program that is compliant with the Australian curriculum.

The college is focused on providing an equitable, culturally informed and child-centered education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, neuro-diverse children and children from low socio-economic backgrounds and is led by founder Andrew Plastow, a highly experienced Aboriginal educational leader.

Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said the college and Save the Children’s goals were aligned in their desire to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children gain an equitable education.

“Clearly, the current school system isn’t working for every child in Australia. I am proud that Ngutu College is our first investment through the Impact Investment Fund,” Ronalds said.

“The team at Ngutu College are incredibly skilled educators and have support from academics from the University of South Australia and Flinders University. It is exciting to know that the team at Ngutu College will measure how students learn through this alternative model, in the hope it can be replicated in other communities in Australia, and potentially globally. While we are primarily looking at investments that have a scalable technology lens, this was too close to our core mission to resist,” he said.

Andrew Plastow, Principal and Founder of Ngutu College said he was grateful for the funding and the school was going was strength to strength.

“We are truly grateful for the funding from Save the children and our other lenders as it has enabled us to begin. We are growing and will soon be able to sustain ourselves through recurrent funding but it required this start-up funding become possible,” Plastow said.

“A parent recently gave us a card to thank everyone who made this possible and shared their thanks for “seeing the potential in every child. This is at the heart of the college that the funding has enabled.” He said.

The loan facility of $1.3m was arranged by Australian Impact Investments and provided through eight investors including Atlassian Foundation, Tripple, clients of Australian Impact Investments and Ethinvest, the Community Impact Foundation and Save the Children Impact Investment Fund. The loan will be repaid over the next 5 years.

Save the Children’s Impact Investment Fund is an Australian-first for an aid organisation. The fund is anchored by QBE, overseen by a Board and supported by an Investment Committee.