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Optus is a founding member of the Australian Business Community Network (ABCN) - a group of national business leaders who aim to create positive social change by engaging with high school students and educators.

Established in early 2005, ABCN works with schools in low socio-economic areas to broaden the horizons of students, support educators and engage business to build stronger communities. ABCN’s work with schools and companies aims to address economic costs of students leaving school early, improve literacy and numeracy skills and help to ease future skills shortages.

Visit the ABCN website to learn more about the network and its initiatives.

Digital Thumbprint

This year Optus launched a new program called Digital Thumbprint. Created in close consultation with leading education experts and delivered free to Secondary schools in metropolitan NSW and VIC the program contains 3 face-to-face, curriculum aligned workshops tailored to the needs of specific year groups that empower and inform Australia’s young digital natives.

By making digital education fun and interactive, Digital Thumbprint teaches students the advantages of a positive online presence whilst arming them with the facts they need to stay safe online in a way students can understand, use and enjoy.

Our aim is to reach 27,000 students over the next 12 months. Check out the Digital Thumbprint for more information or to book a session.

Kids Helpline @ School

Kids Helpline is Australia's only free, 24-hour phone and online counselling service for Australia's young people (between five and 25 years).

Optus has proudly partnered with Kids Helpline since 1999. We continue to offer free calls to Kids Helpline from all Optus mobiles, and have helped establish the world's first free real-time online counselling sessions.

Our new program ‘Kids Helpline @ School’ offers Australian primary schools a video or phone link classroom session with a Kids Helpline Counsellor. Teachers work with a Kids Helpline Counsellor to deliver the classroom session and are provided with activities and resources to help prepare for the video or phone link up.

The sessions give students the opportunity to talk with a counsellor in a group discussion about topics impacting on the lives of primary school students and enhance their capacity to deal with the issue at school and in their lives.

Check out Kids Helpline @ School for more information or to book a session

The Smith Family - Mobile Student2Student

The Smith Family is a national, independent children's charity helping disadvantaged Australians to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.

No one would deny that children are Australia's most vulnerable and precious resource, yet right now more than 638,000 are living in disadvantage and are unable to access the same educational, health or life opportunities that many of us enjoy and often take for granted. When children are left out, they get left behind and without support, the disadvantage they experience today is likely to continue into adulthood - and on to the next generation.

Optus is committed to making a difference to communities by connecting them to possibilities through technology. The Smith Family is a children’s charity that helps disadvantaged Australians get the most out of their education. Our partnership focuses on initiatives that address these issues by supporting community programs that build social inclusion and engage disadvantaged youth

Since 2010, Optus has been a proud partner of The Smith Family and has provided a range of services to assist regional and rural areas. This includes a combination of funding, networks, technology, services and products whilst driving programs to enforce positive change in the community.

One of these programs includes the ‘Student2student mobile program’ which develops children’s reading capacity by peer to peer learning. Each week for 20 minutes, 3 times a week for 19 weeks students read to their buddies. The aim is to increase the reading age of these children from 2 years behind the national avregae to at least 12 months behind the national average. Optus provide mobile phones and credit to enable this program, as those on this program do not have access to a landline.

For more information on this program visit - Mobile Student2Student.