News & Media
International Day of Education
24 Jan 2020
In recognition of today’s International Day of Education, Orica is proud to be working to create more inclusive educational opportunities for children across the globe and to be celebrating its sixth year partnering with The Smith Family.
Joining forces with The Smith Family in 2014, Orica’s mission was to improve the educational prospects for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in Australian communities and those it operates in internationally.
Through a renewed focus on applying technology and innovation for social good, Orica has played a crucial role in the expansion and development of two key educational initiatives for The Smith Family – their flagship Learning for Life program and Let’s Count.
Learning for Life
Sue and Josh share their story
The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program recognises the need to provide children experiencing disadvantage with educational support to successfully complete their schooling and go on to further studies or work.
Having supported the Learning for Life program in the Pilbara region in Western Australia for a number of years, an Orica funded study in 2017 determined the need for a similar initiative in Gladstone, home to Orica’s Yarwun manufacturing plant.
Launched in 2018, the Gladstone Learning for Life program represented The Smith Family’s first new community in 10 years.
Our initial goal to help 300 students over a three-year period was quickly surpassed. Orica and The Smith Family have now set an ambitious new goal – to double the impact and help 600 local Gladstone students by the end of the 2020 financial year.
It is a bold target, but we are well on track, with over 500 local students already receiving Learning for Life sponsorship by the end of 2019.
Achieving this goal will make an important contribution to the long-term economic and social well-being of the Gladstone community, and help to create better futures for young Australians in need.
Let’s Count, The Smith Family’s innovative numeracy program, has helped childhood educators across Australia engage parents and young kids in maths-based games and activities to improve numeracy skills at an early age.
With a renewed focus on technology, The Smith Family and Orica have worked together to digitise the training and accelerate the expansion of the program across Australia and overseas.
Building a suite of online tools and lesson plans, Let’s Count training materials are now available to educators across Australia and in Orica communities overseas.
Launching in 2018, the digitisation of the Let’s Count program has increased the number of children reached by 65% in the first year, to a total of 1,300 educators, which is estimated to have benefited 39,000 children and 20,000 parents in FY 2018/19.
With Orica’s help, the program has now launched in India, The Philippines and most recently Bontang, Indonesia.
Having access to these online tools will help parents and teachers develop stronger numeracy skills in children from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing opportunities for these communities and helping to secure economic prosperity in the regions.
Pre-school teachers taking part in the Let’s Count program at our Bontang office in Indonesia
Teachers working together to develop engaging, problem solving exercises for children
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