State Schools’ Relief

I grew up poor.

Three boys on a Dad’s single-parent pension.

In my final year of high school we didn’t have car. Which sucks when you live in the country. I would have given up hockey, which was a 45-minute-drive away, if not for one of my teammate’s Mum. She offered to take me to games every Friday evening, and stay overnight at her house. I’d never met her or her son before that year. She was just a generous person.

My school shoes would wear out halfway through the year, in the middle of winter. But I had aunties who wouldn’t blink in buying us a new pair. Or paying for hockey fees. Or paying for repairs on the car when we had one.

But many kids aren’t so fortunate.

That’s why I’ve long been a supporter of State Schools’ Relief. They’re an incredible Victorian charity – helping kids in public schools by discreetly providing shoes, uniforms, iPads, glasses, and more.

Last year they assisted more than 67,000 students. That’s 1 in 10 public school kids in Victoria.

And I’m pleased to say that I’m joining their Board as a Non-Executive Director.

For 15 years I’ve been volunteering on the Board of my hockey club. (Funny how that one Mum’s generosity kinda kicked off this whole thing.) But for a while I’ve been thinking about doing something with more impact and scale.

So I applied for The Observership Program. It’s an initiative designed to bring young (ish) people onto Boards – providing training and experience observing a non-profit organisation in action.

I’ve spent this year observing the very well run non-profit Regional Arts Australia, sitting in on Board meetings, seeing the concept of “noses in, fingers out” in action. Which gave me confidence to build a game plan for getting onto a Board officially.

And State Schools’ Relief just happened to have an opening.

If you’re interested in joining a Board one day, I can’t recommend The Observership Program enough. Applications open in July each year.

In a cost-of-living crisis, more Victorian kids need more support. Please donate to State Schools’ Relief.

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