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The Smith Family partnership

Student Access and Equity, through the Deakin Engagement and Access Program (DEAP), has established a cooperative relationship with children's charity The Smith Family, to pursue a common commitment to improving educational opportunities for young Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Learning for Life program

The Smith Family's Learning for Life program provides emotional, practical and financial support to help disadvantaged children and young people with their education. This support increases a young person's likelihood of remaining engaged with school, completing Year 12 and developing realistic and informed study and career pathways for life beyond the school gate.

DEAP contributes to the later stages of support, when the students are transitioning to higher education.

DEAP Learning for Life scholarships

Deakin has contributed $90,000 over two years from its Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP) funds to support tertiary scholarships for students in The Smith Family's Learning for Life program. The funds are allocated to students who graduated from Northern Bay College (NBC), near Geelong, and are now studying in undergraduate courses at Deakin.

DEAP outreach activities

As well as contributing to the Learning for Life scholarships, DEAP is working with Northern Bay College to support activities for students who are recipients of the scholarships.

DEAP's expertise in building on student capacity and aspiration will link these students to suitable activities to ease their transition through senior school years and on to higher education.

Jaiden Peppers, 17, a student at NBC, has been enrolled in Learning for Life since primary school. Now completing his final year of VCE and hoping to pursue a degree in aviation, he said the program had helped him realise his potential.

"It has helped financially and supported me through my dreams and achievements," he said. "It's shown me to aspire to set the bar higher and higher." He said the collaboration would help more students stick with their studies.

Jaiden hopes he will be one of the students who will benefit from the DEAP Learning for Life tertiary scholarships.

Professor Jane den Hollander, Vice Chancellor - Deakin University with Dr Lisa O'Brien, CEO - The Smith Family and Fred Clarke, Principal - Northern Bay College at the partnership launch
Professor Jane den Hollander, Vice Chancellor, Deakin University with Dr Lisa O'Brien, CEO, The Smith Family and Fred Clarke, Principal, Northern Bay College at the partnership launch

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