A Start in Life is a non-profit, charity organization in Australia that provides support to young Australian students who are under necessitous circumstances, to have an equal access to education as that of their peers. It gives financial assistance to young Australians belonging to disadvantaged backgrounds that live below the poverty line and helps them overcome the barriers to their education. It has an experience over 90 years in the provision of assistance to the Australian youth.
A Start in Life was founded by William Thomson in 1923. He was a politician from New South Wales. During World War I, a lot of men participated in the armed forces. Many of them got killed and left their children orphaned without any help or financial support. William Thomson’s own son Horace was killed in the war. It was at this time that he felt the deep need for support among the children of masons orphaned. So he set out to develop solutions to assist the Masonic Community. So in 1922, he established William Thomson Masonic School, and in 1923 he made New South Wales Masonic Schools Welfare Fund. These efforts were focused on assisting the children of masons that died during the war. After a period of time it also started supporting ex-pupils of the schools along with the children of deceased masons.
Initially established to support the children of incapacitated masons that die during World War I, the organization expanded its charter in 1972 to provide assistance and support to any youth with necessitous circumstances irrespective of their Masonic affiliation, color, race or creed. The students are referred to A Start in Life schools, educational institutions, local community groups, welfare agencies or they are self-referred. The case of the students is assessed and re-assessed to ensure that they qualify for assistance. Since its establishment, the organizations has spent more than AU$13.3 million on youth almost 6,000 in number who are in dire need for assistance in education from pre-school to university level.
The mission of the organization is to assist young Australians belonging to disadvantaged families to acquire the same education facilities as those of their peers.
The purpose is to help these young people to go beyond their circumstances and rise above the cycles of poverty and achieve higher in life. This helps them to overcome barriers to their education and recognize their true potential.
The aim of A Start in Life is to ensure that adequate education facilities are provided to the youth that are referred to the organization for support. It encourages scholastic achievements and participation in extra and co-curricular activities. It facilitates the students who want an access to the university for specialized studies since it promotes professional aptitude in students. It provides financial support for educational assistance as well as for other required expenses including text books, clothes, and professional equipment. It provides medical and dental treatment for students it supports and also provides them with suitable accommodation if necessary. It awards prizes to students for academic and extracurricular achievements.
All these facilities are available to students being fostered under A Start in Life, who themselves do not have the capability to afford education and professional studies due to unfortunate circumstances. The goal is to give young people with necessitous circumstances similar education facilities as those of their peers so that they may too recognize their true potential and abilities and are not left behind due to the lack of finances.
A Start in Life strives to achieve its goal by provision of financial aid and educational assistance to young people referred to the charity for support at primary, secondary and tertiary level. It has over 90 years of experience in this service of the disadvantaged families whose circumstances have been identified as necessitous. It provides necessary help to students in getting clothing, equipment, textbooks, uniforms, school shoes, financial assistance for school camps and excursions. Apart from educational essentials it also promotes extra and co-curricular activities, provides computer technology, supports after school tuitions in case of underperformance, internships and work programs along with facilitation in payment of accommodation. It promotes specialist training and higher learning for interested and intelligent students, and encourages professional ambitions of students supported by the Charity organization. It provides medical treatments and dental care to students under its care to ensure good health for good attendance and performance at school. It currently provides these additional services to students on ad-hoc basis. A Start in Life gives a student scholarship program to provide long term financial assistance to the students in need. It also provides the facility to the student sponsors to get regular progress updates of the sponsored students. This encourages the progress of the students as well as it increases the support from the sponsors.
A Start in Life is an organization that started to benefit the children of the masons that died in World War I. Since over 90 years, it is providing financial assistance to the children of disadvantaged families so that they too can find their true potential and abilities and feel no less than the rest of the children in their community. The organization has with time widened its charter of services and gives aid to not only children of the masons but to any deserving young person in need of financial help regardless of their race, color or creed. A Start in Life promotes education from primary level till specialized studies. Its goal is to encourage students to go beyond their financial circumstances and rise beyond the expectations of their community to acquire the best exploitation of their potential. It also gives regular updates about the student’s progress to the student sponsors. It has since its inception, provided support to more than 6,000 students from pre-school to university level. The organization has partnered itself with a number of other institutions for support of the children in need. Without their help A Start in Life would not have been able to support the needy Australian children.