Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre
The first group of 15 students arrived for a week's stay at the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre. The group, from the remote Arnhem Land community of Maningrida, were welcomed by Michael Long on their first day. The centre has accommodation for up to 60 students, a gym, pool and classrooms where the "football-themed" health and education programs take place. Male and female students from the Northern Territory's remote communities win a place on the week-long camp based on their school attendance and behaviour, which forms part of the school curriculum. At least 800 students are expected to pass through the centre this year, with the focus on students between the ages of 12 to 17.
Long was adamant students attending the centre should leave with a social conscience. "We want the kids to learn as much as they'll take from here, " he said, "It's all about opportunity, life's about opportunity."