Partnering with The Smith Family

The Smith Family has decades of on-the-ground experience working with children and families in need, in partnership with almost 700 schools. This means they are well-positioned to assess what families need to support the education of Australian children living in poverty.

At Bridges, we believe that financial literacy is an essential life skill and important in building strong communities, which is why we joined forces with The Smith Family in 2017. We are proud to continue our financial support in 2020, to help equip secondary students on their flagship Learning for Life program with the financial know-how and tools to increase their confidence in making financial decisions.

“In these unprecedented times in Australia (and around the world), now more than ever we need to partner with great Australian organisations like The Smith Family who help those most vulnerable in our community. Bridges has been an ongoing proud partner for several years as it’s important to us to help not only our clients, but all in the community.” Nathan Stanton, Bridges Chief Executive Officer.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis

We recently spoke to The Smith Family about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted their learning programs, as schools close and face-to-face learning is limited.

“We know that the impact of the COVID-19 crisis will be significant and far-reaching for all of us. Yet, for Australian children and families already living in poverty, it will have a devastating impact,” said Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family.

“Our team has been working closely with the families we support to uncover their critical needs over the next 6 to 12 months. Our key priority is to continue supporting the education of 50,000 young Australians already on our Learning for Life program. Now more than ever, Australian children living in poverty need our help, as they are being hit hard by this crisis,” added Lisa.

Certificate 1 in Financial Services

As part of The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program, they offer secondary students in Years 10 to 12 the chance to obtain a Certificate 1 in Financial Services. This not only provides them with the financial knowledge to manage their own money, but also gives them a potential career path.

“I have made financial changes as a result of taking this course by saving more and questioning whether I should buy things or not. I am now more confident about the future and my savings.”

Learning for Life student and Certificate 1 in Financial Services program participant.

2018–19 results from students attending the Certificate 1 in Financial Services course

Knowledge: 88% of respondents reported that they understand how superannuation works.

Confidence: 85% of respondents reported that they are confident making financial decisions.

Behaviour: 81% of respondents reported that they have a clearer financial plan for the future

If you’re interested in giving back to the community in a meaningful way, contact us to discuss your charitable giving options.