Philanthropy to arm regional school kids with future jobs skills
14 May 2019 at 5:37 pm
Students in regional Victoria will have access to digital learning labs and future technology education programs through a philanthropic gift worth over half a million dollars.
The $650,000 contribution by Gandel Philanthropy was announced on Monday and will support the redevelopment and expansion of the education facilities at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
The digital labs and workshops at ACMI’s Federation Square site will promote media and screen literacy for around 140,000 students annually over three years.
The money will also go towards running programs in regional tech schools, which will focus on building skills in entrepreneurship, digital game design and emerging jobs of future technologies.
Vedran Drakulic OAM, Gandel Philanthropy CEO, told Pro Bono News the fact that ACMI was at the forefront of promoting art and creative industries and educating future generations on digital and emerging technologies were key factors in the decision to back the initiative.
Drakulic said the foundation was often made aware of the barriers faced by children growing up in regional Australia, who also missed out on many opportunities that their urban counterparts had easy access to.
“The idea by ACMI to go into regional parts of Victoria offering tech education, and offering to develop those digital skills was really a very important element of the partnership,” he said.
“The Gandel Family has a very strong focus on early childhood development and educational opportunities because they are very much of the belief that young people are the future of this country.”
The donation is part of ACMI’s $40 million redevelopment, which will shut down the centre from the end of May until mid-2020. The education labs will be available for use when the centre re-opens.
Geelong Tech School will be the first to undergo ACMI’s education program later in the year, with more schools across the state to follow.
Drakulic added that the landscape of education and future employment was rapidly changing and it was important philanthropy played its part in ensuring younger generations were prepared.
“Anything that philanthropy can do to actually foster better understanding and better learning in that context is very important,” he said.
Gandel Philanthropy was ranked ninth in this year’s Philanthropy Top 50, giving away $16.7 million in the last financial year to areas including the arts, education, health and medical research and youth at risk.