Back to school vouchers for children affected by bushfires

Back to school vouchers for children affected by bushfires

Students affected by the 2019/20 fire season have been getting a little help with their school expenses thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.  Social Futures, along with the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF), worked through 35 schools to distribute a thousand donated $50 vouchers to families across the Northern Rivers region.    

For the first time, the vouchers were sent electronically for students, or their schools, to print up and exchange for school related kit such as books, clothing and stationery.    

“It was a big job finding just which families had been affected by the fires,” explained Social Futures Senior Customer Experience Officer Kim Riches. 

It was such a widespread disaster.  We relied on the schools to fill in the picture, but even finding the right schools took a bit of work,” she said. 

“I think the last vouchers went to Dundurrabin public School,” she added.  

Dundurrabin, a small community inland from Coffs Harbour with less than 100 residents, was badly affected by the Bees Nest fire of September 2019.    

Social Futures also distributed vouchers through their programs like Mijung Jarjums and the Family Referral service.   

“We already have strong connections with the diverse communities across the region, including in remote or disadvantaged areas,” explained Social Futures CEO Tony Davies.  

“So, when we were asked to help out with this project, we were happy to make use our networks and hard working staff to see the vouchers get into the hands of the families that needed them most.” 

Emily Berry of NCRF said, “The vouchers are for purchasing items that students may have lost in the bushfires and have never been able to replace due to limited funds available in the family. We hope these vouchers help inclusion for the students, that they can more easily fit in to their school environment and go on to realise their potential, instead of feeling different, excluded because of their financial hardship.” 

While the fires were indiscriminate, many regional and disadvantaged communities were significantly affected, with homes lost and, in some cases, the school buildings themselves. 

Michelle Dalgleish, principal at Coutts Crossing Public School said many families faced hardship in the aftermath of the fires due to property damage and loss of livestock.  

“Our school community was affected by catastrophic fire conditions in November 2019. The fires threatened lives and property in the area, forcing the school to be declared temporarily non-operational due to safety concerns when the Coutts Crossing village was evacuated. It was an extremely scary time for students, families and the whole community,” said Michelle.  

“The school has worked hard to deliver a range of social-emotional programs to improve student’s resilience and strengthen coping skills in the aftermath of the bushfires. And now the vouchers have brought some welcome financial relief to families and students,” she said.   

All 86 students at Coutts Crossing received a voucher.   

“The school has worked hard to deliver a range of social-emotional programs to improve student’s resilience and strengthen coping skills in the aftermath of the bushfires. And now the vouchers have brought some welcome financial relief to families and students,”


Couts Crossing School Principal

Clubhouse seeking volunteers

Clubhouse seeking volunteers

Do you want to inspire young people? 

We are on the lookout for energetic people to teach, encourage and inspire our members.

If you have skills and interests in fields like: Engineering, Robotics, Coding, Electronics, Science, Technology or Maths – the Lismore Clubhouse wants to hear from you!

Up to ten supported volunteer mentor positions are available where you can gain great experience teaching and working with young people. Volunteer times are also recognised by Centrelink.

About The Clubhouse

Part of an International Network of almost 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries worldwide, our Lismore based Clubhouse is the ONLY Clubhouse in regional Australia and one of only four in the country.

The Clubhouse delivers a free safe and creative after school space for young people, where mentors work to help them to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence through the use of technology.

Our Clubhouse encourages young people to think more positively and ambitiously about their futures. It has a positive impact upon attitudes to school, furthering education, and studying STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Music).

We want our young people to reach their potential – can you help us?

You can commit to as little as 3 hours a week for six months as a Clubhouse Mentor (or by arrangement).

Benefits of Mentoring

  • The opportunity to explore your interests in a cutting edge environment
  • The opportunity to help young people build skills and confidence
  • Experience teaching and working with young people
  • Orientation to the Computer Clubhouse
  • Training as needed while mentoring

Contact us today!

If you are 19 years or older contact our Clubhouse Coordinator today on 0428 599 157 to discuss how you can help to inspire our next generation.

Youth Jobs PaTH provides stepping stones to employment

Youth Jobs PaTH is an Australian Government initiative to support young people to gain the skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job. It includes an internship work placement plus financial incentives for businesses to hire eligible young people.

Employers benefit because they get to see firsthand how a potential new recruit is going to fit in your workplace, during a 4-12 week internship placement. They may also receive up to $10,000 in financial assistance when they hire an eligible young person.

You may have heard of the Australian Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH internship program but are not confident this is right for you? Or perhaps you have never even heard of this program?

ETC has some helpful information for you. ETC interviewed a small business owner who trialled the PaTH program which had many benefits for his business. Read about it on the ETC Blog >

Find out more about Youth Jobs PaTH


Post expires at 10:28am on Saturday November 10th, 2018

Transition to Work – Direct Registrations (15-21 year olds)

Transition to Work is a funded program for 15 – 21 year olds who are disengaged from employment or education.

Up to 70% of Enterprise & Training Company’s caseload comes from Centrelink however there is the option to directly register young people that meet eligibility and this is not reliant on the young person being attached to Centrelink.

The eligibility is different depending on the level of schooling however as a general rule if completed year 10, disengaged for 3 months and completed year 12 disengaged for 6 months. However, program officers are able to use discretion in some cases so if attendance hasn’t been great but they are not entirely disengaged please call anyway. 

There is at least 1 dedicated Youth Advisor that works at each ECT site as well as the region having a Business Advisor (talking to employers) and Youth Workshop Facilitators (running internal courses addressing barriers).

TtW Participant Flyer

Direct Registration Form

Selena Baillie
Transition to Work Operations Manager, Gold Coast
Enterprise & Training Company Limited
Suite 2, 24 Cotton St, Nerang, QLD, 4211
[email protected]
Mobile:0439 451 121 | Phone:1800 007 400


Young NAIDOC event: Monday 10 July 2017 at YWCA Goonellabah

We are in our 5th year presenting the Young NAIDOC event, which celebrates and builds leadership, confidence and resilience in Indigenous youth!

NAIDOC Week highlights the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – the First Australians. This year’s theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise & celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity.

The Young NAIDOC program includes:

  • Hip Hop Workshop with TLK.
  • Solid Mob Workshop – Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds.
  • Arts & Crafts Workshops.
  • BBQ Lunch & Afternoon Tea.

Transport to & from event will be available so please let us know if your require transport.

See the poster for full details: Young NAIDOC 2017 Poster

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we live & work & their continuing connection to land, water, sea & community. We pay our respects to Australia’s First Peoples; to their unique & diverse cultures, and to Elders past, present & future.


Go4Fun Healthy Lifestyle Program

Go4Fun programs are being run in Tweed Heads and Goonellabah for next term, starting after the July school holidays. Go4Fun is a FREE healthy lifestyle program for children who are aged between 6.5 -13 and are above their ideal weight.

The program delivers sustained improvements in families’ eating habits, activity levels, self-esteem and overall health, while being lots of FUN too! Go4Fun has an emphasis on practical, fun learning. Kids play games and make new friends. We focus on healthy lifestyle and positive self-esteem. Go4Fun runs once a week for 10 weeks.

In Term 3 2017 programs will be run in Goonellabah and Tweed Heads, one afternoon per week, from 4-6pm, starting after the July school holidays.

Families can self-enrol by calling 02 6620 7502, 1800 780 900, or via the Go4Fun website at


Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.