School Savvy by Centacare FNQ

The School Savvy Shop is officially OPEN for 2019!!

Centacare FNQ opened the third School Savvy shop on 10 January! 

Find us on the corner of Aplin and McLeod Street in Cairns

Open: 10 am - 2 pm weekdays throughout January or until sold out!

We have had a great response to the call for donations of school supplies and school uniforms for the School Savvy Appeal which was launched in October 2018. 

Like previous years, the School Savvy pop-up shop sells low cost new and pre-loved uniforms and school supplies and while also provide learning and skill development in the retail trade for volunteers.

The Swap Shop will be available to everyone again and we have other local organisations available to offer visitors to the shop further

The Pack-A-Pencil Case program! 

We are calling for schools, businesses and individuals to come together and pack a pencil case with the basic supplies required for either primary school or senior school and then donate these pencil cases to the School Savvy Appeal.

Why was School Savvy Created?

With 46% of parents in QLD having experienced financial stress over the past year, the start of each new school year can be a very expensive time, especially for families on low incomes. 32% of people living below the poverty line, received wages as their main income, indicating that having a job is no guarantee of keeping people above the breadline and it is estimated that over 17% of children in Australia, under the age of 15, are living in poverty. (Poverty in Australia 2016, ACOSS 2016)

The first ever School Savvy Appeal was launched by Centacare FNQ as part of Anti-Poverty Week in 2016. The appeal called for donations of school supplies and uniforms for a pop-up shop which was opened in early January 2017. The response from the community was incredible and resulted in donations with an estimated value of over $25,000. Close to 600 families used the shop and we estimated that School Savvy assisted more than 1000 children to get back to school ready to learn. 

In 2017, the second appeal was launched and the School Savvy pop-up shop opened in early January 2018. We estimated the amount of children assisted almost doubled from the year before with over 1000 families using the shop and more than 2000 children supported for the new school year.

The results have spoken for themselves, so much so that School Savvy has become an annual event.

To get involved or for more information…

Call (07) 4044 0130

Centacare FNQ
22-34 Aplin Street, Cairns QLD 4870

School Savvy FNQ is funded by the Australian Department of Social Services and the Community of Cairns.

How can you get involved?

You can GET INVOLVED by donating any pre-loved and new uniforms and school supplies that are in good condition to any one of several donation locations including Centacare FNQ, during business hours or at local St Vincent De Paul Society (Vinnies) outlets. Cash or online donations of money can also be received and will go towards the purchase of new supplies to be donated to the pop-up shop.

    Schools and Clubs

    Bring School Savvy into your classroom or club and get everyone involved!

    The team at Centacare have a few different ideas about how you can help and we're always open to new ideas.

    1. Pack-a-pencil case - get the whole class involved. Everyone donates a filled pencil case. Contact us for more information about what contents for pencil cases and how you can jump onboard. Download the Pack-a-pencil case flyer.
    2. Volunteer your time and make a difference for your community. Contact us for more information about how you, your team or club can help. We would love to hear from you!
    3. Register your school as an official Donation Drop-Off Point for the school and your local community - we'll give you boxes to collect donations and posters to place around the school to encourage others to get involved. We'll put your school on the special 'School Savvy Drop-Off points' map.
    4. Year 12 students - a new adventure is waiting just around the corner for you. These are exciting times! We would love your pre-loved uniforms and supplies you don't need anymore to go to a new home. Please consider donating to the School Savvy Appeal.


    Businesses can get on board by donating unwanted quality stationery supplies such as pens, calculators rulers etc., perhaps items which may have been sitting around in cupboards as branding has moved on.

    Become a Business sponsor and donate some school supplies. In 2018 we were delighted by the response from the Cairns business community. Local businesses were not only satisfied by ensuring local children have basic supplies they need for the school year but inspiring our kids to follow into their own trades and professions.

    Centacare FNQ thanks our 2018 School Savvy Business Partners for their generous contributions to supporting the next generation excel.

    how to find us


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    If you experience any difficulties or have any suggestions for information or improvements, please contact: itcentacarefnqorg 

    Your feedback is always welcome.