In partnership with the University of Melbourne, Greater Shepparton Council and Academy of Sport, Health and Education; the project will work towards the region’s prosperity and its capacity to close the gap. It will combine education, culture, the arts and sport to create healthy people, healthy communities and the leaders of tomorrow.

To be located within the Shepparton Sports Precinct at the south end of the Rumbalara grounds, the centre will expand the current facilities with the addition of ASHE facilities, student residential accommodation, performing arts space, a sports medicine and science consulting facility and child care centre. RFNC president Paul Briggs said the plan was a win for the region. “Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence is a chance to achieve; a chance to enhance Aboriginal cultural identity, expression and celebration; grow in our leadership; improve our health; build our education; enhance our employment options; and move towards equitable social inclusion and reconciliation,” Paul said.

“The end game for this project is parity for Aboriginal people in life opportunities and a place for Aboriginal people to engage, compete and establish a level playing field. “With the opportunity to grow, the Rumbalara Football Netball Club and the Academy of Sport, Health and Education can kick goals for our community and build meaningful outcomes in life expectancy, health-related issues and overall social and economic well being. “Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence will be a science, sport, art and culture icon which will foster the abilities of Aboriginal young people, giving hope and creating healthy people and families for tomorrow.”

The centre will be an opportunity for ASHE and Rumbalara to work more vigorously on preventative measures to break the cycle of disadvantage by working intensively with young people to keep them engaged in education. Its benefits include its ability to promote a strong sense of identity, pride and cultural awareness for the whole community while sharing the region’s Aboriginal history.

The centre will build stronger, more resilient young people and encourage them to be mentally tough, model strong Aboriginal leadership and challenge and develop curriculum that is relevant to the needs of the community. It will also change perspectives and attitudes both within the Aboriginal community as well as the wider community while tackling underlying social issues and a perceived lack of opportunities.

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Murray Football Netball League