Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Main Menu Search


We seek to address educational disadvantage through community-based partnerships.

Emerging evidence and practice suggests that high-quality education and support can create a path to better life outcomes for individuals, and economic and non-economic benefits to society. In Victoria, equal opportunity and quality outcomes are not available for all children and young people, especially those experiencing disadvantage.

Children and young people with higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage and vulnerability (for example, those from rural and regional geographic locations, First Nations background, culturally and linguistically diverse background and students with disability) often have poorer educational outcomes.

Children and young people experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability often have complex needs and require additional, holistic supports to ensure the best possible learning progress.

Schools, early learning services, families, communities and other child and family support services are deeply interconnected systems. When working together, they can better support complex needs and thus reduce educational disadvantage and ultimately improve educational outcomes.

The Trust’s support to address educational disadvantage focuses on community-based partnerships between education providers and non-profit organisations. We believe these partnerships are an important mechanism to provide additional support to improve educational outcomes for children and young people experiencing disadvantage.

We support non-profit organisations that work in partnership with early learning and school education providers to improve educational outcomes for children and young people experiencing disadvantage. This includes organisations working with children, young people, families, educators, educational leaders, education providers, systems and community organisations. It also  includes those working to improve access, participation, engagement, quality, opportunities, pathways and overall learning outcomes.

The Trust prioritises long-term relationships with organisations working to affect change in Victoria and for Victorians.

To ensure that only organisations likely to receive support invest time in preparing applications, we invite a small number of applications to the Trust each year, and discourage unsolicited applications.

If your organisation requires support and is a Victorian-based charity seeking to address educational disadvantage through community-based partnerships, you are welcome to email us to provide brief information about your organisation and proposed project.

Select organisations addressing the priority areas will be asked to submit a brief expression of interest. Following the expression of interest, a small number of organisations will be asked to submit a full application.

Trustees generally consider applications four times a year.