Rachael Zaltron OAM

Founder, Backpacks 4 SA Kids

2024 SA Local Hero

In 2013, Rachael Zaltron OAM and another family began collecting donations and putting them into backpacks to help a few vulnerable and neglected children.  

This was the start of Backpacks 4 SA Kids. Commencing in Rachael’s carport, the organisation now has its own warehouse and volunteers helping vulnerable children across the state. 

Under Rachael’s leadership, the organisation provides backpacks with age-appropriate emergency clothing, toiletries and other necessary supplies for children aged 0 to 16 years who are taken into care, need to quickly leave their homes due to family violence or experiencing homelessness. 

Backpacks 4 SA Kids also provides home starter packs for families starting again after domestic violence, and anchor packs for young people aged between 12 and 25 who are experiencing homelessness. They also provide Christmas presents for 0- to 18-year-olds entering emergency care. 

Since 2012, Rachael and her team have helped more than 86,000 South Australian children.