Christmas appeal spreads hope for disadvantaged students

ADDITIONAL schooling support for local students is now within reach following the launch of the 2017 Smith Family Christmas Appeal.

The children’s charity helps Australian children create better futures for themselves by ensuring they stay engaged with their education and have the best opportunity to break the cycle of disadvantage.

This is done by providing financial support for the cost of education, as well as a range of educational support and mentoring programs throughout the children’s schooling.

The Smith Family general manager Lesley Mackay recently visited staff and students at Montrose Bay High School to kick off the 2017 appeal.

Ms Mackay said The Smith Family Christmas Appeal provided funding for various programs delivered to its partner schools across Tasmania.

“We are very reliant on the Tasmanian community to support our Christmas Appeal and we are grateful to the State Government for its support,” she said.

“We have donations coming from the corporate sector as well, but most importantly, it’s the local communities around the state who dig deep at this time of the year to support our appeal.”

Montrose Bay High School year 10 student Julias Daquman said he was grateful for his scholarship, provided by The Smith Family Appeal through the Learning for Life program.

“The Smith Family scholarship has helped me pay for my blazer, as well as some of the stationary and books that I need for school,” he said.

“Things would be a lot more difficult for my family and me if we didn’t have this extra financial support to pay for these requirements.”

Also in attendance at the launch was Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer.

Last year, the Tasmanian Government made a commitment to contribute $1.6 million over four-years to assist with The Smith Family’s beneficial work.

Ms Archer said they shared the goal of providing support to disadvantaged students so they received the best out of their education.

“That is why we are kick-starting this year’s Christmas Appeal with a $1000 donation,” she said.

“Funds raised through the appeal will provide scholarships for students from year seven to 12 and potentially the first year of tertiary study.

“This support increases a young person’s likelihood of remaining engaged with school, completing year 12 and developing realistic and informed study and career pathways for life beyond the school gate.”

This year, the Smith Family Christmas Appeal hopes to raise a total of $3.7 million nationally.

Caption: From left, Montrose Bay High School scholarship recipient Julias Daquman, principal Mandy Reynolds-Smith, Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer, Premier Will Hodgman, students Olivia Banfield, Hannah Barwick, Pheonix Harper and The Smith Family general manager Lesley Mackay.