The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien thanked Dr Challen for his ambassadorship, adding that the Australian of the Year platform provides a unique opportunity to spearhead a national conversation about child poverty in Australia and the importance of education in creating better futures.
“Dr Challen is an inspirational Australian who led a heroic rescue to help children in need and we are thrilled to have him join us as an ambassador,” Dr O’Brien said.
“We look forward to him sharing his amazing story to inspire children and young people, and to highlight the importance of education in his own life and what it has helped him achieve.
“Dr Challen is also passionate about raising awareness of the extent and impact of child poverty in Australia. With one in six1 Australian children and young people living below the poverty line, this support is more critical than ever.
“The Smith Family partners with schools in areas where families are really doing it tough to identify children who would benefit from financial support and targeted learning programs,” Dr O’Brien added.
“Our sponsorship program is helping these students achieve better outcomes at school so they have the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential into the future.”
1 Davidson, P., Saunders, P., Bradbury, B. and Wong, M. (2018), Poverty in Australia, 2018. ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership Report No. 2, Sydney: ACOSS.