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  • Written by The Smith Family


As a new school year gets under way, more than 1000 students will have access to the education essentials they need to stay in school and help realise their potential, thanks to Officeworks’ customers raising a record $698,134 in support of children’s education charity The Smith Family.

Now in its sixth year, the Officeworks 2019 Back to School Appeal helps raise funds for The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program, with customers donating in-store at one of 166 Officeworks stores nationally or while shopping online. The money raised by each store gives back to the community, sponsoring disadvantaged students in the store’s local region.

Sponsored students are provided with some financial assistance for school essentials, along with personal support from a Learning for Life coordinator and access to a range of out-of-school learning and mentoring programs run by The Smith Family, such as homework clubs and reading programs. It is vital support that makes a huge difference in these young people’s lives. 

The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said: “I am so impressed with this phenomenal result. Thanks to Officeworks and its customers, more than 1,000 students will be able to access our Learning for Life program – this is life-changing support for their education. With one in six young Australians living below the poverty line, this support couldn’t come at a better time.

“Ensuring a child can get the most out of their education is one of the best ways we can help them to break the cycle of disadvantage. We commonly hear from our sponsored students what a difference it makes knowing people in the community care about their future and want to see them succeed.

“We truly appreciate having Officeworks as our major partner – an organisation that shares our focus on changing children’s lives through education.” 

Officeworks Managing Director Sarah Hunter said: “We’ve been blown away by the generosity of our customers during this year’s Back to School Appeal, who have helped make bigger things happen in the lives of more than 1000 students in need.

“We’re so proud to contribute to the funding of vital programs for these students to help them grow and develop throughout their education journey, and beyond,” she said.

One of the highest fundraising stores was Officeworks Lewisham in Sydney, raising enough funds to sponsor 27 disadvantaged students on the Learning for Life program. A cheque presentation took place in-store on Monday 11 February with The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien.

The Smith Family is a children’s education charity that helps disadvantaged young Australians to succeed at school, so they can create better futures for themselves. Visit

Facebook: @thesmithfamilyaustralia | Twitter: @smithfamily_org | LinkedIn: @The-Smith-Family

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