Officeworks donates new school supplies

BENDIGO Officeworks will raise money throughout January for disadvantaged young people in need of educational support. 

Consumers can donate money or new school supplies to the Officeworks Back to School Appeal in store at Bendigo Officeworks

All donations go towards The Smith Family's Learning for Life program, which helps more than 34,000 disadvantaged young people. 

Bendigo Officeworks store manager Colin Gillies said it was an ideal opportunity to assist young people and their families with the heavy cost of going back to school.

"This appeal will raise money and goods for people who can't afford to purchase the stationery themselves," he said. 

"The Smith Family do fabulous work with people in need.

"People can donate anything from erasers to graphic calculators.

"Just anything to help people get back to school.

"It is crucial for all young people to have the means to fully engage in their education."

The program supports young Australians in need, helping them to participate in education by providing programs as well as emotional, practical and financial support. 

A recent COAG Reform Council report into Australia's education performance highlighted a significant educational gap between children from disadvantaged background and those from a higher socio-economic background. 

On average, disadvantaged Australian children are 2-3 years behind their peers in reading and maths by the time they are 15 years old.

Upon leaving school, 41.7 per cent of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not fully engaged in work or study, compared to only 17.4 per cent of more advantaged young people. 

The Smith Family chief executive Dr Lisa O'Brien said it was critical to address inequities faced by disadvantaged young people.

"Our work supports young Australians in need to make the most of their education," she said. 

Officeworks is located at 297-305 Hargreaves Street in Bendigo. 

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