National Manager of women’s advocacy group VIEW Australia, Maryanne Maher, visited the region last week to promote local clubs.
The organisation has long been an integral section of Australian society, holding a place women’s lives all around the country for the past 60 years.
The volunteer led group is heavily linked with The Smith Family; helping to assist over 600 children each year in the Coffs and Clarence Valley area.
Maryanne Maher notes that the group assists The Smith Family enormously in their efforts to give disadvantaged Australian children a helping hand through their education.
“Over six decades, VIEW clubs have raised over $40 million for The Smith Family and have volunteered well in excess of 3 million hours for The Smith Family. So, our members like to read to children in schools or they might, or they might assist them at The Smith Family learning hub facilities,” the National Manager says.
These funds contribute to the education of children, including supplies like books, uniforms and excursions. They also add mentorship programs and councillor support for children in need.
“The Smith Family is located in over 91 communities, whereas VIEW Clubs are located in over 300 communities. So, we extend their reach, especially in relation to advocating on behalf of children’s education,” she says.
On a local level, National Councillor and Yamba Day Club volunteer Elizabeth Birch has been involved with the club since 2013 and has since gone on to help organise a variety of VIEW club charity events.
“We normally had quite a big function each year for International Women’s Day and that was the fundraiser for the four clubs for their sponsored children and in 2020 that was 18 children between the four clubs in this area,” the National Councillor says.
In 2020, during a pandemic, the Nambucca to Clarence Valley area boasted 483 members and supported 45 children on the Learning for Life program.
Throughout 2021 the VIEW clubs in the Clarence Valley region hope to further increase their membership and support as many Australian and in particular local children as possible.