In April 2013, an article appeared in the Courier Mail highlighting the plight of mothers and their children arriving at domestic violence shelters, often with only the clothes on their backs. The article made a plea for essential items for the children, such as school bags and school shoes.
After reading the article, we contacted a not-for-profit organisation that operates a domestic violence shelter to find out what sort of things these children typically need and were told that many of them are desperately in need of most school items, namely, school bags, shoes and socks, stationery, text books, etc.
Zephyr Foundation (now, Zephyr Education Inc) was registered as a charity under the Queensland Collections Act 1966 on 25 June 2013. The Executive Committee comprises a group of three women but family members and several friends help out as needed. No one who assists Zephyr receives any remuneration for their work.
About the name
'Zephyr' is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as 'a soft, gentle breeze'. We chose the word as expressing the fundamental purpose of our charitable work, which is to help initiate a fresh change for the children we support as well as their mothers.
Our initial goal was to support two shelters in Brisbane to assess their needs and our capacity to meet them. We soon realised that there was a vital need for the items we were providing and that many other shelters needed our support.
Deductible Gift Recipient Status
Zephyr was registered on on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Register from 15 July 2014.
On 13 January 2015, Zephyr received endorsement by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient as well as endorsement for charity tax concessions, namely, income tax concessions, GST concessions and FBT exemption.
Incorporation and ASIC registration
In August 2016, Zephyr Foundation became an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld). This necessitated a change of name and we chose the name Zephyr Education Inc to better describe our core purpose.
On 20 October 2016, Zephyr was registered by ASIC as a Registrable Australian body (No.615454227).
At the start of 2015 we were supplying school clothing, books and other items to children at five shelters in south-east Queensland. By the end of the year that number had increased to 16.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we now supply school items at the request of more than 80 shelters and other family support organisations throughout Queensland. These organisations are located from the Gold Coast to Weipa and Mornington Island, and in Mt Isa and other western regions.
In 2016, in response to a request from the manager of a shelter in Tasmania, Zephyr's Executive agreed to supply school items to children in all shelters operating in that State. On 17 November 2016, Zephyr Education Inc was approved to operate as a charity in Tasmania.
We are now supplying school essentials to all seven shelters operating in Tasmania.
In September 2018, Zephyr Education Inc was approved to operate as a charity in Western Australia. We are already supplying school items to children in five shelters in Perth.