Cedar Woods staff help Australian children realise their true potential

1 July 2022

Cedar Woods staff across the country are running, walking, mentoring, volunteering and fundraising to help young people experiencing disadvantage to succeed at school, so they can create better futures for themselves.  

Cedar Woods Managing Director Nathan Blackburne said he was thrilled with the high number of staff who had embraced the company’s support for The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program. The program provides each student with a combination of financial and personal support, as well as vital learning and mentoring programs that help them keep up and stay motivated throughout their school years.  

“It’s all about breaking the cycle of disadvantage and providing young people with the opportunity to access a good education which can help them to improve their lives,” Mr Blackburne said.  

He said Cedar Woods was proud to sponsor 40 primary pupils, 46 high school students and 14 students in the tertiary sector in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland over the last year.   

“It has been fantastic to see so many members of the Cedar Woods team support the initiatives and contribute to making a real difference to the lives of these young people.”  

Cedar Woods’ Queensland staff took part in the Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run in August last year to raise funds for The Smith Family. Mr Blackburne said in addition to raising money the event was a great team building initiative.  

More recently, staff have taken part in The Dream Run – a month-long fitness event challenging participants to walk or run 25km, 50km or 100km in June to raise money for The Smith Family.  

“Staff in our offices around Australia have signed up to this challenge and have been pounding the pavement for a great cause,” Mr Blackburne said.

Another way Cedar Woods supports The Smith Family has been through the iTrack program, an online mentoring initiative for students in Years 9 – 11. Each student is matched with a trained adult mentor who provides general encouragement, advice and guidance about workplace, study and career opportunities.  

“We have a number of staff across our business  taking part in this program. It is a fantastic volunteering opportunity where Cedar Woods staff are able to share the benefit of their own workplace and study experience to potentially encourage and help these students in what is a major stage of their lives,” said Mr Blackburne.  

Last October, the South Australian team hosted Cedar Woods’ first Work Inspiration event, which saw 15 students visit Cedar Woods’ Glenside project. Staff involved in the project outlined key project information to the students, such as the type of product being developed and the likely buyers. They also explained all the types of jobs that were involved in the Glenside community development, from early-stage planning to end of delivery.  

Students had the opportunity to ask Cedar Woods staff about their career pathways and how they got started in the industry. 

“The feedback from both the students and The Smith Family about this event was extremely positive. Some students said it gave them career ideas they had not previously considered,” Mr Blackburne said.   

Mr Blackburne said similar events were planned at Bushmead in WA and Williams Landing in Victoria later this year. Cedar Woods will also be participating in the Straight Talk program, to be held in July. Two members of the WA team will attend a primary school to talk to students about careers in the property industry.  

Mr Blackburne said the support for The Smith Family aligned well with Cedar Woods’ values – we think about tomorrow; we create community connection; we strive to succeed, and we are people developers.   

“Everything we do is about creating well-connected communities where people can thrive. The Smith Family’s objective is to help young Australians in need to thrive by providing long-term support for their participation in education.”