School Savvy FNQ


School Savvy is a Centacare FNQ initiative which facilitates access to school uniforms and school supplies for children in families struggling financially in the busy back to school period at the start of the school year. The initiative was created in 2016 with the first-ever School Savvy Appeal launched as part of Anti-Poverty Week 2016. The appeal called for donations of pre-loved stationery supplies and school uniforms for a pop-up shop which was opened in early January 2017.

Why was School Savvy developed?

We all understand that the start of each new school year can be a very expensive time for families, especially those on low incomes. It is estimated that over 17% of children in Australia are affected by poverty with more than 30% of adults recognised as being in poverty relying on wages as their main income. Add to this, the need to buy new school uniforms for one, two, three or more children, along with textbooks and school supplies can be a huge struggle, especially straight after Christmas.

The School Savvy Concept

The concept initially was to recycle pre-loved uniforms and stationery supplies however, in reality, and thanks to the generosity of the Cairns community, School Savvy has distributed not only pre-loved goods but an estimated $25,000 worth of donated new supplies, in each year of operation. The response from the community is incredible and continues to grow. Additionally, each year a new layer of supports are added to provide more assistance to families in our community.

Community Support

School Savvy would not be possible without the support of other local organisations. Major partner, St Vincent de Paul provides local collection points for donations, shop fittings for the pop-up shop, transport and recycling and the support of local stationery companies to source wholesale and donated stationery supplies has been invaluable.

In January 2020, Centacare FNQ finished the fourth School Savvy initiative. Together with the incredible support from the community, we were able to support close to 2,000 children to get back to school with the uniform items and basic school supplies they need to start the new school year.

Get Involved

We work with individuals, clubs, schools and businesses in a number of ways.
Contact the School Savvy team to discuss options by emailing schoolsavvy@centacarefnq.org.

How School Savvy has grown

The School Savvy initiative was created by Centacare FNQ in 2016 with the first ever School Savvy Appeal launched as part of Anti-Poverty Week 2016. The appeal called for donations of pre-loved stationery supplies and school uniforms for a pop-up shop which was opened in early January 2017. 

The concept initially was to recycle pre-loved uniforms and stationery supplies however, in reality and thanks to the generosity of the Cairns community, School Savvy has distributed not only pre-loved goods, but an estimated $25,000 worth of donated new supplies, in each year of operation. The response from the community continues to grow and each year a new layer is added to provide more support to families in our community.

In 2019, the initiative was taken up by Centacare CQ located in Rockhampton who opened three School Savvy CQ pop-up shops - one in Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Mount Morgan. School Savvy CQ were able to support 750 children to get back to school with uniform and basic school supplies they needed. 

In 2020, we welcomed Centacare NQ located in Townsville who opened three School Savvy NQ pop-up shops - one in Townsville, Burdekin and Cloncurry. 

School Savvy can now be found in eleven locations throughout Central, North and Far North Queensland and the initiative continues to grow.

School Savvy FNQ started in Cairns in 2016.

Keep up to date with the project in Cairns by following the School Savvy FNQ Facebook page.

School Savvy NQ started in Townsville in 2020.

Keep up to date with the project in Townsville by following the School Savvy NQ Facebook page.

School Savvy CQ started in Rockhampton in 2018

Keep up to date with the project in Rockhampton by following the School Savvy CQ Facebook page.

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