A Federal Government-controlled agency has agreed in principle to fund a boarding school on Groote Eylandt.
The Anindilyakwa Land Council expects a signed funding agreement with the Aboriginals Benefits Account by the end of March.
Design and building work would then take 18 months, which means the school could be open for the start of the 2023 academic year.
Community consultation shows there is strong support for the boarding school.
About 50 families send their children to schools in north Queensland.
The Groote school will hold 20 students at first but the design will allow expansion to take 40.
Land council chair Tony Wurrabarrba says getting children to school is one of the key issues on the island.
He says children need to be educated so they can survive – and thrive – in both worlds.
The school will be built on Bickerton Island, which is 13 kilometres off the coast of the main island.