Ben McGinn, intern at Orora invited Koala Kids to morning tea last week to share our story with the Orora team at the Hawthorn head office.
Ben has been associated with Koala Kids for most of his life and was proud to introduce our organization to his colleagues.
Orora Group invites its employees to bake for the morning tea party each monthly and Mandy Mandie, program director Koala Kids Foundation, was asked to judge the winners. Orora donated more than $1,000 to Koala Kids from sales of its weekly football tickets to Orora employees, not taken up by suppliers.
Koala Kids is warmly appreciative of a group of young fundraisers who asked family and friends to make donations to our Foundation in lieu of gifts at their birthdays – Carter Graham, Aleggra Gorog and Ashley Katz.
Carter Graham in celebration of his 13th birthday invited guests of his Bar Mitzvah party to donate to Koala Kids in lieu of gifts.
Aleggra Gorog (aged 10) and Ashley Katz (9 years) both learned about Koala Kids during Pitch for Change, Kids in Philanthropy’s initiative in March that provided young students hands-on volunteering experience with six different not for profits.
The 24 families in Upper Kinder (Aleph) class at Gandel Besen House have collectively donated $1440 to each of Koala Kids Foundation and another charity in lieu of buying each other’s’ children birthday presents during the year.
Mandy Mandie, program director spoke to the young students and explained the different things Koala Kids will be buying the children and young people and their families to enjoy during cancer treatment with the money. She reminded each of them to think about how happy they have made a sick child when celebrating their own birthdays!
Koala Kids took the National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) program to the nine regional hospitals on Wednesday 23 May at 11am – adding another 100+ young readers to the initiative.
Hickory Dickory Dash, the 2018 book was written by Tony Wilson, illustrated by Laura Wood and published and donated to Koala Kids by Scholastic.
NSS, now in its 18th year, is an annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. It is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, this year using an Australian children’s book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.
We are proud of our growing intern program, attracting secondary and tertiary students with a range of interests from Melbourne University, GTRS, Lauriston Girls School and De La Salle, Malvern.
Haresh (aka Harry) has joined us for four months to manage our volunteer applications and hospital registrations. Amanda Ang completed her internship which she undertook as a unit in her psychology major to complete her arts degree. Amanda enjoyed being exposed to lots of different aspects of Koala Kids and having endeared herself to our Monday team we are all tickled pink that she wants to stay on as a regular volunteer.
Four Lauriston girls are completing their Lauriston Honors program at Koala Kids. The VCE students are being exposed to many areas including writing blogs for our website and other hands-on tasks to enhance their appreciation of the support we provide families in the cancer centres.
This week we welcomed Zara Carter, Ellie Johns and Natalia Oberoi-Kearney starting their Duke of Edinburgh Blue community experience and year 9 student James Suffolk is working in the office each Tuesday this term as part of De La Salle’s companionship program .
Koala Kids fast growing volunteer network is as diverse in culture as it is in age and experience.
We welcome our newest volunteers Emma Barham, Zoe Potter, Hassan (aka Hass) Bakkar, Patrick (aka Paddy) Kerr, Allie Veal, Georgie Landale, Olivia Henderson, Lorrie Pennefather and Felicity Carter.
Emma is our new volunteer at Peter Mac. She is facilitating activities with the children attending the paediatric radiotherapy service clinic each Wednesday morning with Stef, music therapist. Emma herself spent very long periods in hospital as a child, and thus has an understanding and personal compassion for sick children
Last year Emma, a Gennazano student was a recipient of the Premier’s VCE Awards, recognised as a top performing student for her outstanding academic achievement.
Emma is a positive and enthusiastic person who hopes to be a paediatric oncologist in the future.
Zoe is one of our registered volunteers at The Royal Children’s Hospital, and is a great addition to our bubbly Monday morning team. She studies Commerce at Melbourne University, majoring in management and marketing, as well as coaching junior netball in her spare time.
Hass is a professional tennis player who joined Koala Kids to volunteer in Hospitals. Hass played tennis internationally throughout his secondary schooling years, educating himself online. Through his career he has helped coach and develop young players who see him as a role model, and he hopes to use his positive energy and charisma to make happy help children with cancer.
Paddy had a huge week last week. After debuting for Carlton FC on Sunday, he enjoyed his first Monday with our team at The Royal Children’s Hospital.
Paddy is not the first in his family to volunteer with Koala Kids either – he joins his grandmother Judy Potter, aunties Judy Mullen and Linda Kerr, cousins Grace Kerr, Sophie and Jack Mullen and Jeanne Mitchell as well as his sister Ruby. Might consider renaming us Kerr-ala Kids!
Allie joined Koala Kids to volunteer at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital. She is also getting involved with our events committee. Balancing her marketing degree, running her own business and volunteering with Koala Kids, it is clear that Allie is a driven, motivated and caring person.
While managing her own catering business, Georgie has registered as a visiting volunteer at Monash with Koala Kids. With a lengthy nannying and babysitting resume, we are sure that Georgie will be a delightful addition to both Koala Kids and to the Monash Children’s Cancer Centre.
Liv joined Koala Kids through our partnership with Carnival for Kids, program partner of our school holiday program. Olivia is studying nursing and is looking forward to facilitating school holiday activities at Monash and volunteering with Koala Kids thereafter.
Lorrie has an extensive background in events and catering, and has joined our team as a volunteer at both RCH & Monash Children’s Hospital. Lorrie is extremely well travelled and intelligent, as well as kind hearted and giving, making her a perfect match for Koala Kids.
Felicity is a good friend of our program director, Mandy Mandie, and has decided to lend a helping hand in the office, as well as volunteering at our wrap bar for Mother’s Day. With a giving and generous nature, Felicity offers help wherever required no matter how medial the task may be.
Six Koala Kids volunteers undertook the registration process at Monash Health to become regular volunteers at Monash Children’s Cancer Centre. Pixie Cohen, Mandy Mandie, Georgie Landale, Olivia Henderson, Lauren Bowe and Jessica Bucci completed the 60 minute online training as well as the on-site induction program and are looking forward to providing the kids and their families activities, morning tea and other programs.
We are very excited to announce that Koala Kids is now providing a weekly activity at Peter Mac. Koala Kids volunteers Davina Chisik and Emma Barham will facilitate the Wednesday session at the paediatric radiotherapy service clinic with music therapist Steph.
“It will be wonderful for the clinic to have a Koala Kids volunteer present each week. Our music therapist Steph feels very strongly that Koala Kids input supports her music program and will be greatly appreciated by the children and families.” Lisa Forsberg, paediatric nurse coordinator, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre told Koala Kids.
Koala Kids volunteers visit patients and families in the Kookaburra ward and Children’s Cancer Centre at the RCH nearly every Monday morning.
Our volunteers registered on the hospital’s Visiting Volunteer Program distribute themed creativity kits filled with activities and stationery designed to distract the children and young people during treatment and long hospital stays. The volunteers also visit children having cancer treatment outside Kookaburra when it is full and check in, as often as possible, with each of the Nurse Unit Managers to restock Koala Kids Happy Tubs, 60L orange plastic tubs filled with donated activities, books and other items for all ages including parents – more distraction to pass the time and relieve the boredom.
We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Network Ten’s workplace giving program, TEN Gives.
Both Koala Kids and TEN Gives are looking forward to working together to achieve our vision to touch every child and young person undergoing cancer treatment.
Launched in October 2014, TEN Gives harnesses the time, talent and enthusiasm of Network Ten staff to support the most creative, innovative and phenomenal charity organisations that help disadvantaged young people.
TEN Gives aims to build a powerful, measurable and highly effective relationship with Koala Kids to further its mission to provide small things that make a difference to the lives of children and young people and their families during cancer treatment in the Children’s Cancer Centres at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital, as well as at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and nine treatment hospitals around regional Victoria.
Koala Kids believe happy helps and TEN Gives does too. Together, we hope to bring lots of happiness to children and young people undergoing cancer treatment.
An incredible $1760.40 was raised from gold coin donations, with many students also opting to bring boxes of Lego and Duplo of different sizes.