Arup Community Engagement


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Arup Community Engagement

Partner overview

The Smith Family is a national, independent children’s charity established in 1922 and working in 94 communities throughout Australia. In the last year our work reached more than 134,000 disadvantaged children and families in 94 communities across Australia.

The Smith Family steps into a disadvantaged child’s life while they are still at school, to help them get the most from their time there. By supporting a child to participate in education, The Smith Family prevents them experiencing a lifetime of poverty. By investing in a child’s education, we can break a cycle of disadvantage.

Investing in the education of a disadvantaged child today has long-term benefits for them, their families and the communities they live in. Supporting a disadvantaged child to participate fully in their education opens their mind to a world of opportunity and positive change. Helping them to succeed at school has a lasting impact on their lives and potentially the generations to come.

In 2009, with Arup’s support, The Smith Family opened a new office in Cairns allowing them to offer more mentoring and literacy programs that support children’s education through the Learning for Life programme. Since then, Arup’s support has expanded, providing support for The Smith family’s Learning for Life communities nationally.

The Learning for Life programme provides long-term support for disadvantaged children by providing financial assistance for their education essentials and access to mentoring and vital life skills programmes. These tools and support allow children to thrive at school and the help extends to the child’s family and community, with wrap-around support essential to breaking the cycle. Helping a child to do well in their journey through school brings a life time reward, for them and their family. Investing in a child’s education today will have a long-term impact that empowers them into their working life.

Having a cohesive society can only be achieved in partnership with other like-minded individuals and organisations. It’s the cornerstone of much of what Arup does – the ability to care, consider and have respect for others.

Many of these kids lack positive role models in their lives and have limited or no connection to supportive networks. Because of their family’s circumstances,  most aren’t able to access the same educational, health or life opportunities that others take for granted. Without support, the disadvantage they experience today is likely to continue into adulthood – and on to the next generation.

Research has shown that supporting a child’s education is one of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage and ensuring they can access the same learning opportunities as their peers. That’s why Arup has partnered with The Smith Family to help transform the lives of disadvantaged Australian children through education. Through the partnership with The Smith Family, Arup is helping to create better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in Cairns.

"Arup staff are highly engaged with the program, and their support makes it a positive, uplifting and inspiring experience for the student participants. This is reflected in positive feedback we received from program participants, such as “I absolutely loved it all and wish I could continue doing it” and “It has motivated me to work hard for my dream”.

Arup has been a much valued partner of The Smith Family for 10 years.  During this time, Arup has supported our Learning for Life program, and most recently our Work Inspiration program which provides positive and meaningful work experience to young people.  Arup has hosted nearly 200 young people Australia-wide in Work Inspiration, and plan to offer a further six Work Inspiration programs in 2016, engaging an additional 100 young people in different locations across the country.

The Smith Family is a national charity that helps disadvantaged young Australians to make the most of their education.  Many of the participants in Arup’s Work Inspiration programs face significant barriers to future employment success and participating in Work Inspiration is a key positive step for them.  Our research shows that young people who participate in Work Inspiration have better knowledge about the world of work, a better understanding of what employers are looking for, and tend to return to school more motivated to participate in their studies.

Our warmest thanks to Arup for the time, effort, energy and passion they have invested in Work Inspiration, helping to inspire and motivate the workforce of tomorrow."

 The Smith Family


4 August 2015 

The Smith Family voted one of Australia's most well run charities in PwC annual survey

Results have just been announced today by Pro Bono Australia following a survey conducted by PwC in conjunction Good Foundations, that places The Smith Family as the second most well run charity in Australia – coming in equal second with The Australian Red Cross.

We are delighted with this feedback from the Australian public and invite you to read the full article below for more information.

Thanks goes to all our supporters who make our work possible. It’s really a pleasure working with you all.


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