Today, one in six children and young people are living in poverty across Australia*, which means even life's basics are hard to come by. When families are experiencing financial disadvantage, children can fall behind in their learning, leaving them more vulnerable to experiencing hardship themselves later in life.
Investing in the education of a child experiencing disadvantage today has long-term benefits for them, their families and the communities they live in. By supporting a child in need to participate fully in their education, they can achieve better life outcomes overall and break the cycle of poverty.
For almost 100 years, The Smith Family has been tackling the problem of poverty, one child at a time. Through their flagship Learning for Life program, they are helping around 58,000 young Australians to overcome their circumstances by providing long-term support for their education in three distinct ways. The Smith Family provides financial support for school essentials, like uniforms and books. They provide access to additional learning programs before and after school – tailored to each child’s individual needs. And they match each child with a dedicated team member at The Smith Family to help them get to school, stay at school and go on to further work or training.
This innovative, evidence-based approach is equipping these children with the motivation, resilience and life skills they need to complete their schooling and go on to better futures.
At the Audi Foundation Australia, we are the national funding partner for The Smith Family’s Work Inspiration program, which provides opportunities for students to learn about career pathways. This program helps to address the difficulties that young people living in disadvantage face when entering the job market, including a lack of connections, role models and aspirations. With our support, The Smith Family is able to deliver Work Inspiration events to more than 1,300 students across Australia each year.
*ACOSS/UNSW Poverty Overview Report, 2020.