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Back to School (BTS)

Education is a fundamental right and we know many organisations share our belief that a quality education should be accessible, no matter where you live.

FRRR’s Back to School (BTS) is a national program that has been operating since 2005, which helps rural and remote children and young people access quality educational experiences.

The Back to School (BTS) initiative helps rural, regional and remote students to engage in learning and strengthen their educational outcomes.

Working through local community organisations, Back to School is a practical, positive program that makes a real difference in the lives of children by providing $50 gift vouchers from Target or local retailers, to students in need.

The vouchers are redeemable for items such as school uniforms, clothing, shoes, school bags and stationery items necessary to engage and participate at school.

The program is funded by various Trusts and Foundations who generously provide the financial backing for the program.

More than $584,000 was distributed via this year’s FRRR Back to School program, helping rural children and their families to access quality educational experiences. In total, more than 11,680 country children received support.

Between 2005 and 2019, we have distributed more than 163,680 vouchers valued at over $8.1M to rural, regional and remote children and their families. Redemption of the $50 vouchers supported the local economy in over 38 rural and regional areas across all Australian states and one Territory in 2019, including an injection of $53,100 into 33 local businesses. The remainder of the vouchers were issued in partnership with Target, who provides a significant discount, enabling FRRR to leverage the impact of donor funds.

The BTS program also helps to raise awareness of the various community services and school support networks available to help these disadvantaged families. The number of vouchers FRRR can distribute is entirely dependent on the funds we raise. In the 2019 distribution, there was a total unmet demand across the program of 2,376 vouchers.

"The vouchers help strengthen our connections with families. We recognise the pressures they face in getting their children to school ‘on the same basis’ as other families. A new school T-shirt compared to a second hand one does make a difference, as does a new pencil case or a pair of shoes.

This ‘feeling’ of belonging is hard to measure but is visible. Thank you for your support."

Rod Sutherland, Principal, Tumby Bay Area School


Not-for-profit community-based organisations that have an ABN or Incorporation Certificate can apply to be part of the program. It is expected that community organisations who participate will ensure that the vouchers are distributed to students in greatest need in their community.

The program should benefit communities in rural, regional and remote locations. Applications from rurally based Community Foundations will receive priority.

Final allocations will be announced at the beginning of December 2018. Participating organisations will enter into a Grant Agreement with FRRR, with specific distribution and reporting requirements, and administer the program at their own cost.

Due to high demand and limited funding, we will not be able to meet every request.

You can contact FRRR on 1800 170 020 or via email with any questions or areas of clarification.


The 2019 Back to School Program is now closed.

For more information on this process, please read the following documents:

Grants Gateway Return to applications

Further information

More information about the program is available by contacting the Senior Programs Officer on 1800 170 020 or email.

Case studies

Related links

"I am a parent with children attending a small country primary school in Victoria. I received a $50 voucher earlier this year from your Foundation to be used at a local ‘Country Target Store’. In my case I used the money to buy school uniform tracksuit pants, socks and underwear for my sons (one in Year 2 and one in Year 4). 

I would like to express my gratitude and thanks for the money donated by all those responsible. This gesture was much appreciated by me and also by many others at our school who received the vouchers."

We need donations to this program

We are currently seeking other co-investors for this highly impactful program.

This is your opportunity to provide families and students in need with the clothes, materials and equipment that are so important in helping them connect with their school, their teacher and their peers.

There are a number of ways donors can get involved including supporting a particular geographical area or making a donation online to go to where there is the highest need. Funds go directly into purchasing the vouchers. Every donation, no matter how small, means another child gets the school year off to a great start!

The Back to School (BTS) brochure has more information about how you can get involved in supporting this great program.

"The vouchers represent more than just a financial one (outcome), they represent and show our young people that their community cares about them and their disadvantage.

These vouchers are a token of warmth, love and understanding and are worth so much more than their $50 value."

VHHS FLO Team Leader

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