The Smith Family
Progress with every plan
At ActOn Wealth our mission is to create great financial outcomes, not only for our clients, but for our community as a whole.
Partnering with The Smith Family through their Business Community Champions program allows us to help disadvantaged young Australians create better futures for themselves. Sponsoring a student helps pay for school essentials like uniforms, shoes, textbooks and excursions. It also provides ongoing access to The Smith Families out-of-school learning and mentoring programs designed to help students build the skills they need to thrive at school and beyond.
We're proud to know that with the help of The Smith Family, the benefits of our work can extend beyond the individual and help break the cycle of disadvantage for young Australians.
The Cycle of Disadvantage
The effects of growing up in poverty go beyond the home environment. For over 1.2 million Australian children and young people1 this can negatively affect their school life and mean they are less likely to achieve the educational outcomes (and in turn employment outcomes) that then limit their overall life outcomes, passing on disadvantage to the next generation.
Who is The
The Smith Family is the largest children’s education charity helping young Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed at school, so they can create better futures for themselves.
The disadvantage experienced by the 1.2 million young Australians living in poverty today not only impacts their life at home; it also adversely affects their education, and worse, the direction of their lives.
At school, these children miss out on things other children may take for granted. Imagine how it would feel to go through winter without warm school clothes; to feel ashamed because you have no decent school shoes; to feel isolated and alone because you don’t fit in, or to be stressed all the time because you don’t have the internet at home or the books you need to do your homework.
For almost 100 years, The Smith Family has been tackling the problem, one child at a time. Through their Learning for Life program, they are helping children overcome their circumstances by providing long-term support for their education in three distinct ways. They provide 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 coach at The Smith Family to help them get to school, stay at school and go on to further training or work.
This proven three-pronged approach is equipping these children with the motivation, resilience and life skills they need to complete their schooling and go on to better futures.
THE IMPACT OF DISADVANTAGE
Disadvantaged students are on average 2-3 years behind in reading and maths by the time they are 15 years old.2
The reading gap between the lowest socio‑economic status (SES) students and the highest SES students is equivalent to almost three years of schooling.3
Year 12 completion rates are significantly lower (60%) for students from low SES backgrounds than for students from high SES backgrounds (90%).4
University students from high SES backgrounds are three times more likely to attend, than students from low SES backgrounds.5
By helping a child living in disadvantage set themselves on the right path now, we’re starting a domino effect that will lead all of Australia into a more inclusive and flourishing future.
The Smith Family currently supports around 50,000 young Australians in need on their flagship Learning for Life sponsorship program, and since 2012, they’ve helped nearly 12,500 children complete Year 12.
It’s an extraordinary human achievement, and an economic one too for Australia. Independent studies estimate that each student that completes Year 12 saves the community around $1 million over their lifetime compared to an early school leaver.
The Smith Family tracks and measures the outcomes of their work at every stage, to ensure children and young people are receiving the help they need to break the cycle of disadvantage.
Every completed year of schooling also enables better overall life outcomes, and improves a person’s ability to contribute economically and socially to the community. Four out of five former Learning for Life students are engaged in work or study 12 months after leaving the program. This result has a positive flow-on effect for the nation, as more young people are productively engaged post-school.
Progress With Every Plan
Katerina's parent / guardian
At school my child has improved most in:
Maths, history and sports.
The sponsorship money provided through the learning for life program helped with the cost of:
Uniforms / shoes, music / sport activities and school excursions.
I would like to tell my child's sponsor:
Thank you very much for your big help and support for my family.
Katerina, Year 10
Tell us about yourself:
I love playing basketball because it's my way of gaining confidence. I'm a 10th grader at Senior School.
In my spare time I like to:
Study, listen to music, sleep or play video games with my family.
I like to listen to:
My favourite boy group BTS or any other K-Pop groups.
In what ways do I help my family:
Do what they ask me to do. I used to work at Domino's but that didn't work out because of my education.
An achievement in the last year I am proud of is:
Succeeding in my last year level (year 9).
When I am older I would like to be:
Becoming one was one of my main goals last year. I want to be a Prosecutor overseas.
My favourite subjects are:
Mathematics, history and physical education.
A subject I want to improve in is:
I would like to tell my sponsor that:
They're doing a great job at supporting me.
1 Poverty in Australia, 2020, ACOSS/UNSW Report.
2 Thomson et al, 2011, Challenges for Australian Education: Results from PISA 2009.
3 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2011, Review of school funding final report.
4 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority 2012. National Report on Schooling in Australia 2010: Additional statistics.
5 Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2008, Review of Australian Higher Education Final Report.