State Schools’ Relief is a very unique organization as there is no other similar Australian State organisation and in fact many claim that no other nation globally has got a similar organisation. They have given support to tens of thousands of young people from Victoria as well as their families, giving clothing one in 60 children school kids each year. They remain the foremost agency supplying material support to the ones in still Victorian government schools.
Donations coming from individuals, foundations, schools and companies, fund the expenditure of the clothing and footwear. From the year 1930 successive governments in Victoria have been funding the cost of administration. This permits 100 per cent of donations to positively impact positively on the life of a child. All those donations that are above $2 become tax deductible.
State Schools' Relief was established in the year 1930 during the period of the great depression, by a Head Teacher, Anton Vroland who came from Elsternwick State School. In June 1930, he organized a meeting with some fellow principals and teachers who were also concerned regarding the students that were living in the water barges alongside the Yarra and in huts in the area of a the Dudley Flat tip. The State Schools’ Relief committee got formed at the end of the meeting to carry out u any possible relief to Victorian students.
Teachers time and again "knew" which kids were experiencing the greatest need; hence an arrangement was put in place where the more affluent schools would help those that were less fortunate. SSR then did the coordination of the giving of practical help – such as giving shoes, clothes and food to the students who were in need so they would be able to continue with their education.
Much of the initial help came in the shape of material instead of money. If no immediate application was found for the donated material, some would be sold and the money collected applied to buying clothing materials, and other more urgently needed items, which were more easily divided among the needy students.
The massive hunger and job loss of the Great Depression is long gone and we’re now in the 21st Century of opportunity and technology. Nevertheless, the problems of neglect, poverty, abuse, family illness, homelessness and the occurrence of natural disasters continues affecting too many families.
The SSR program remains 100 per cent based on donations with majority of the donations now coming from the learning institutions themselves – dubbed “from children to children”. Today, it is almost impossible to get a State School, irrespective of how prosperous, that has not at least had 1 pupil that has gotten help at one some point in time and it is also so unlikely that a school exists that is so “disadvantaged” such that it has never had the opportunity of forwarding a donation towards helping others that are little worse off compared to its own students/pupils.
The Work of State Schools' Relief
SSR is the charity set up by Victorian teachers towards supporting disadvantaged students in Victoria with school uniforms as well as other clothing requirements. Founded during the Great Depression, yearly it assists thousands of students referred by their respective schools or service oriented agencies providing them with the needed footwear and clothing. However the demands on the services of SSR are ever rising.
State Schools' Relief offers a free service without necessarily drawing attention to those students that are receiving the assistance. Majority of the recipient students are not aware they are getting charity. This kind of anonymity acts in the best student’s interests in terms of self-esteem.
SSR is supporting 10,000+ students in Victoria each year through removing barriers in the way of their participation in school activities such as ‘no uniform, no school’ and by giving support to their education success. Education participation remains the main route out of poverty and this vital pathway has to remain open and available to every kid.
State Schools' Relief (SSR) is convinced that children are deserving of the chance of equally engaging and participating in their school’s sporting and educational activities without any barriers. The persistent lack of adequate school footwear and clothing is a noteworthy barrier to the participation of a child in school and community activities.
The Intent of SSR
State Schools' Relief aims to ensure every child in Victoria get access to opportunity.
Research has consistently shown that the wellbeing of student has a direct and positive impact on the students learning outcomes. The student’s capacity to learn and profit from education is deeply linked to their emotional, social and physical wellbeing.
The service provides a direct way of boosting student wellbeing in many schools throughout Victoria. Shoes and a new school uniform can:
- Boost dignity and self-esteem of children as well as their families
- Provide comfort and warmth
- Empower participation in community and school activities
- Alleviate the huge financial burden placed on families
- Circumvent the stigma associated with “looking different or poor” from their classmates
- Boost rates of school attendance.
Each year SSR assists in excess of 10000 Victorian students - removing many barriers to their school participation and towards supporting their education success.
Donations coming from companies, foundations, individuals and schools are funding the cost of the clothing and footwear. Since 1930 the successive Victorian governments have been funding the salaries, accommodation and administration costs, allowing 100 per cent of the donations to impact directly and positively on the life of a child.
Main Areas of SSR Expenditure
- Purchase of stock: clothing and footwear
- Authorizations for the students (schools/parents) to buy clothing or footwear from a commercial outlet or the school shop
- Meeting the cost of couriering across Victoria
Making a Donation
A donation made to the State Schools' Relief makes a huge and “real difference” to a child in Victoria. They offer direct assistance to the child through the provision quality school uniform clothing, socks, underwear and footwear.
100 per cent of your kind donation goes directly towards the provision of quality footwear and clothing to disadvantaged Victorian students. Not a single cent of your kindly donated money goes towards supporting the administration needs of the organization. Highly commendable is that the Victorian Government has been supporting State Schools' Relief by meeting the running and operating costs since 1930.