Shine On – 25 years of transforming young lives

| May 3, 2013

Starlight Children’s Foundation celebrates its biggest annual fundraiser, Starlight Day. Louise Baxter, CEO of Starlight, explains how the Foundation is aiming to raise $1.5 million to transforming the experience of hospitalisation and treatment for seriously ill children across Australia.

This year Starlight Day celebrations are extra special, marking 25 years of Starlight – and 25 years supporting the long-term wellbeing and resilience of seriously ill children.

It’s astonishing to reflect on what has been achieved since Starlight’s inception in Australia in 1988. Since then, Starlight has touched the lives of thousands of seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia.

I’m proud to say that today, in our 25th year, Starlight is the only children’s charity with a permanent presence in every major paediatric hospital in the country.

Today Australian health professionals consider Starlight’s innovative programs to be integral to the total paediatric care of thousands of seriously ill children. With this tremendous endorsement, Starlight delivers its programs to thousands of children, seven days a week. These programs provide distraction and relief for thousands of hospitalised and often isolated kids who are living with the pain and fear that comes with serious illness.

Starlight’s programs include Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Rooms, medical-free havens giving sick kids an escape from the daily stress of hospital life; Livewire, the peer-to-peer support program, giving chronically ill adolescents support; and Starlight’s Wish Granting Program, giving sick kids and their families something positive to look forward to and a break from the relentless cycle of pain and trauma.

While many people are aware of Starlight Wishes, few recognise the incredible life-changing benefits a granted wish can have for a seriously ill child and their family. The experience of sharing a special, once-in-a-lifetime wish not only lifts the spirits of the child and brings the family together, but helps to give them the strength to face treatment.

This year Starlight is excited to grant its 8000th Starlight wish – an incredible milestone for a charity operating without government funding. Starlight relies on the generosity of the public to deliver its many innovative programs.

We urgently need your help on Starlight Day, so we can continue to transform the lives of seriously ill kids by lifting their spirits and giving them an opportunity to laugh and play, while improving their wellbeing and resilience. To help Starlight ‘Shine On’ and support seriously ill children into the future, you can buy Starlight merchandise from one of the 2,500 volunteers hitting the streets today in shopping centres, central business districts and train stations, or make a donation at