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The program aims to ensure every child has uniforms, shoes, lunch boxes, backpacks and stationery for the new school year (Bigstock)

With uniform, stationery and back-to-school stocks replenished, Centacare Far North Queensland’s School Savvy program has broken past records in providing help to families to start the school year. Source: Australian Rural and Regional News.

Launched in 2016 as part of Centacare FNQ’s Anti-Poverty Week activities, School Savvy is an innovative, community-based program that ensures every child has uniforms, shoes, lunch boxes, backpacks and stationery for the new school year. 

Since this year’s School Savvy pop-up shop opened on January 8 at Cairns Showgrounds, with additional back-to-school outlets at Edmonton, Innisfail, Atherton and Trinity Park, the program has helped 971 families, 2040 kids and provided some 227 free haircuts.

School Savvy’s program lead, Kumiko Millward, said that when compared with last year, many more people are feeling the burden of back-to-school expenses, which she put down to a combination of the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of both Cyclone Jasper and the flooding events.

“We have doubled our numbers regarding the support we have provided … What this says to us is that people are hurting. It has also shown us the strength of our community and the generosity of people who have donated uniforms, free haircuts, and equipment to ensure everyone is prepared and ready for school.”

According to Centacare FNQ’s executive director Anita Veivers, the recent flood disaster and escalating cost of living have placed additional strain on families, making support from programs like School Savvy more crucial than ever.

“We understand the challenges families face and are committed to easing the burden as much as possible,” Ms Veivers said.


School Savvy answers the call for back-to-school support & breaks new record: Centacare FNQ (Australian Rural and Regional News)