The Girl Academy

Fiona Jose
Cape York Partnership

Cape York Partnership established the Girl Academy in 2016, an independent boarding school for young Indigenous women to re-engage with education. Many said this couldn’t be done and was not sustainable. They have been proved wrong, although it has been tough. The girls came with invisible wounds and challenges far more complex than were anticipated. 2020 saw five young women graduate with High School Certificates and vocational qualifications. It is a thriving school with 20 students from Cape York, Cairns and the Northern Territory, four babies, and a waiting list.

Fiona was guest speaker at the 2020 Brisbane AWE dinner, where she enthralled the audience with an account of her first-hand experiences with the girls. This article is Fiona’s summary of the work being undertaken in north Queensland to assist Indigenous girls in accessing education and brighter futures.