The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Foundation is proud to announce a new four-year community partnership with the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), through to 2025.MITS exists to empower Indigenous students from regional and remote communities to achieve their educational aspirations in Melbourne. Based on Wurundjeri Country since 2016, each year MITS supports 22 Year 7 students who spend one year learning in MITS’s classrooms inside the Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute, a high-quality and culturally safe learning environment.
The students live in MITS’s Year 7 Boarding House on Richmond Hill. At the end of Year 7, students transition into positions at MITS’s 12 Melbourne Partner Schools.
MITS continues to support its students beyond Year 7, providing accommodation to alumni in Years 8 onwards who attend Partner Schools each day, while returning each night to a culturally safe and peer-supported MITS Alumni Boarding House. Students’ families have described this as the “best of both worlds”.
MITS is growing rapidly: by 2023, MITS will provide boarding for up to 100 students across four Richmond Hill boarding houses, with two houses currently under construction. MITS is a registered charity and relies on a generous community of supporters to fund its operations.
The MCC Foundation’s financial support will fund the AFL registration fees for the MITS boarding students for the next four years, enabling the students to participate in organised club football within the local community. With the MITS classroom in close proximity to the MCG precinct, students will be able to visit the Australian Sports Museum anytime they like as it allows students to learn about and be inspired by the story of Australian sport.
The partnership was this morning launched on the hallowed turf of the MCG with MITS students conducting an Acknowledgement of Country for their fellow classmates, plus MCC Foundation Chair and Vice-President, Sally Macindoe, MCC and MITS staff members.
The MCG will then host the MITS Class of 2021 for their Graduation Dinner tonight.
Ms Macindoe said the partnership is a clear demonstration of the MCC Foundation’s objective to provide improved access to sport.
“This is a really exciting partnership for the MCC Foundation, and we’re delighted to welcome MITS. We look forward to the exciting opportunities the partnership presents to the School, its students and its alumni, as well as our Club and our members,” Ms Macindoe said.
“The partnership will seek to support the people that nurture the athletes of the future, and the pathways that increase the access to sport for Indigenous students and participation in sport for wellbeing outcomes.
“We’re so pleased to formalise a partnership with MITS, our neighbour on Wurundjeri Country, and enable the students to visit the MCG and learn more about sport in the Australian Sports Museum.”
MITS Executive Director, Edward Tudor said the partnership was a natural fit for the students who already view the MCG as part of their Melbourne schooling experience.
“We’re really delighted to come together with the MCC Foundation and commence this relationship with one of the most important sporting clubs in the world,” Mr Tudor said.
“For us, this partnership speaks to the role of the MCG, managed by the MCC, as a place which exists for people: it’s inclusive, welcoming, inspiring and uplifting. The land that the MCG occupies has been an important gathering place for people of the Kulin Nation for many millennia, and it’s very special that our MITS students will continue to share in this connection.
“Yarra Park and the MCG concourses are in effect our students’ schoolyard – we are really excited to enhance their experience even further by getting them into the Australian Sports Museum and much more.”
The Melbourne Indigenous Transition School is the MCC Foundation’s fifth community partner, and joins the Bachar Houli Foundation, Special Olympics Australia, Santa Teresa Oval Project and Sports Excellence Scholarship Fund.