A valued part of The Smith Family




On Saturday July 21, 2018 150 VIEW (Voice Interest and Education of Women) Club Members, from the Hunter and Central Coast, came together to celebrate a day of friendship at the East Maitland Bowling Club. 

VIEW National President Jan Roberts spoke about the benefits of Membership and Leadership Opportunities encouraging members to consider stepping up to leadership roles.   She also spoke on attracting and Retaining members, the ‘Making a difference’ award, Resolutions and the VIEW National Convention to be held at the Queensland Sunshine Coast in September 2019.

General Manager for The Smith Family NSW / ACT Steve Macready gave a very interesting presentation with information from The Smith Family Research ‘Attendance Lifts Achievement’ saying that there are 41,600 Learning for Life students nationally, 20,000 families are from NSW/ACT of which 2,400 are in the Hunter / Central Coast area.   Steve said that, of all students in the research it showed that 40% of students and 50% of parents have a health or disability issue - and 80% of parents are not in the labour force or are unemployed.  56% of parents have not completed Year 12 or equivalent and over half are single parents.  The Learning for Life program supports the most disadvantaged of the disadvantaged.  Steve told the success stories of two Learning for Life students and finished his talk saying that VIEW Clubs now sponsor 1,281 Learning for Life students of which 103 are from the Hunter / Central Coast area, that VIEW is regarded are Gold Standard Sponsors and identified the Hunter / Central Coast as a priority area adding ‘Many voices, one VIEW, making a difference’.

The Smith Family Hunter Partnership Coordinators, Suzanne Leonard and Lyn Falkiner, spoke about the work they are doing with schools and the process they go through in the selection of students who go onto the Learning for Life program.  They then conducted a friendly interview with Learning for Life student Emma, who attended  the lunch with her mother Katherine.  Emma is currently in her first year at Newcastle University doing a double degree in Law and Arts and said that she is so appreciative of the support she has received through her sponsors and would not have been able to achieve her dream without that support.  When National Councillor, Anne-Louise O’Connor, asked those present to give a round of applause the VIEW way, Emma received a standing ovation!

The day concluded with entertainment from our very own Pam Ayres, Sue Watson, who was brilliant and had us all in stiches with her rendition of Pam Ayres poems especially ‘50 Shades of Grey’.

Anne-Louise thanked everyone for supporting the day which was full of friendship, chatter and laughter. 

Anne-Louise O’Connor

VIEW National Councillor – Hunter / Central Coast




Steve, Suzanne, Katherine, Emma, A-L Lyn and Jan

Emma and her Mum