Boys who complete the year 7 program go on to study at schools including St Kevin’s College and Brighton Grammar.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said MITS had helped students get “the best possible start in life … in key areas of reading, writing, maths and attendance”.
“It’s really wonderful for these girls who will get a safe and welcoming home as they go through their schooling.”
Year 7 students at the MITS use classrooms inside Richmond Football Club’s Punt Road facility to prepare for further studies at a range of government, Catholic and independent schools.
Mr Frydenberg praised the football club’s involvement in the program.
“Richmond have really shown a commitment to inclusiveness – they’ve been fantastic,” he said.
The boarding house will be funded through the $200 million Indigenous Youth Education Package, unveiled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on this year’s Close the Gap Day.
Mr Frydenberg said the fund would be used in the future for “worthwhile projects where there’s a need for investment”.
Students at MITS have come from 16 Top End communities and three regional Victorian communities, the majority of whom speak English as an additional language or dialect.
Donna Nadjamerrek, from Gunbalanya in Western Arnhem Land, said MITS made her children “feel good because they are surrounded by other Indigenous people – their culture is strong.”
“MITS gives our kids the best of both worlds. Giving kids the best chance in life means going to school regularly, achieving a good school education and moving onto further education or employment,” she said.
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said we have seen first-hand the power of MITS to change lives.
“To have their learning space embedded at Richmond Football Club is a privilege, and the support announced today reflects our shared vision to drive change through education and opportunity,” he said.
Paul is a reporter for The Age.