Commercial broking is as much a business strategy as it is a skill set, writes Chris Thomas, executive commercial broker and equipment finance sales at NAB. Article originally published in Australian Broker on 14/11/23.
NAB Private and The Smith Family are working together this Christmas to bring much-needed gifts to nearly 15,000 disadvantaged children across Australia through The Smith Family Toy and Book Appeal.
At NAB Private we believe in the power of education to help break the cycle of disadvantage in our community. By supporting The Smith Family since 2008, Australia’s largest national education-focused charity for children, we have helped bring positive education outcomes to thousands of Australian children in need.
Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family since 2011, outstanding philanthropist, women’s advocate and medical practitioner, has helped grow a range of powerful educational support programs to provide children across ages with long-term educational support. These programs include Learning for Life, iTrack Mentoring Program and Let’s Count numeracy programs, all of which NAB Private has supported throughout almost a decade of committed fundraising.
NAB Private sponsors seven students nationally on the Learning for Life Program which provides financial assistance from sponsors along with funding a Program Coordinator to support the child in valuable learning.
“For us, this type of support is so valuable as it involves the long-term support of a disadvantaged child,” explains CEO Lisa O’Brien, “by making a commitment to them on their journey through their primary and secondary years until they finish school at year 12, supporting them all the way through.”
NAB Private also supports The Smith Family’s Let’s Count Numeracy Program, an early mathematics program for children aged three to five, developed by The Smith Family with Charles Sturt University and Monash University. The program helps parents and early years educators to develop the maths skills of the children in their care by exploring and talking about numbers, counting, measurement and patterns in their daily lives. NAB Private Queensland has supported an amazing 20 children and their families and carers through Let’s Count, through consistent staff fundraising such as raffles and pizza lunches.
Sometimes disadvantaged students need someone to talk to outside of their networks who can give them advice and encourage them with their post-school plans. The Smith Family iTrack Mentoring Program provides that much-needed support. As the largest corporate providing volunteer mentors for the iTrack program, which involves weekly, online chat sessions with a high school student mentee, NAB is proud of its significant commitment and impact to so many students. Enterprise wide, 41 NAB employees participated in this program during 2016.
For Dr O’Brien, receiving support from organisations like NAB Private enables The Smith Family to aid real life transformations she has witnessed, of kids supported by their educational programs who have achieved real success and happiness in their lives. It’s these stories she is most proud of in her time with The Smith Family.
“Seeing some of the young people we have supported over the long term with their education, hearing their stories, getting to share in their success gives me so much joy,” explains O’Brien. “Many of these young people have come from very, very challenging circumstances. Their resilience to stay on a path, to stay at school, complete their schooling, go on to further studies, to university and be the first in their families to do so, I have such admiration for them and it gives me such joy to hear those stories.”
Many children living in financial disadvantage will not receive a gift this Christmas and The Smith Family’s Toy and Book Appeal is an opportunity to help bring a smile to a disadvantaged child’s face this Christmas.
The Toy and Book Appeal is one part of a whole range of activities that The Smith Family manages at Christmas time, but this appeal in particular helps it distribute 45,000 new toys and 30,000 books to nearly 15,000 disadvantaged children across Australia. By giving a small new toy or book, you can make a difference in a child’s life, simply by showing them that someone cares.
“The Smith Family Toy and Book Appeal is not just a one-off gift or toy, it’s part of a long-term education support program for disadvantaged kids, which we hope will take them through school and into a better future,” explains O’Brien. “And giving toys and books at Christmas time is really central to our heritage.”
We are proud to be continuing our support of The Smith Family this Christmas through the Toy and Book Appeal. Your chosen gift will help to bring happiness to a disadvantaged child and help to share the Christmas spirit.
To donate to the Christmas Toy and Book appeal visit The Smith Family website
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