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 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 Book Club

Celia and Nonna Monash Book Club_4_0615We had a fabulous KOALA Kids Book Club session this morning with our guest author for July, Victoria Lane visiting with her wonderful picture book ‘Celia & Nonna.’ Several children attended book club where Victoria read ‘Celia & Nonna’ and then joined in on some drawing and creative activities about what happened to Celia and Nonna in the book. Nonna is an italian word for grandmother (Nanna) so every child related to this story. There were subtle hints throughout the story that Nonna was changing and growing older. Beautifully and sensitively told, the children loved Victoria’s storytelling, pointing out the castle her grandmother grew up near in her town in Italy. Victoria also brought in some bortolotti beans beans for the children to touch and hold as Nonna used to cook with bortolotti beans. What are bortolotti beans the children wanted to know? A wonderful morning was had by all

Arts are a right not a privilege

acm_logoKOALA Kids has been chosen as a preferred charity by Arts Centre Melbourne for its First Call Fund.

The First Call Fund was created by Arts Centre Melbourne to provide support specifically to schools and community groups to experience the huge variety of live performances, workshops and other participatory events at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Students, young people and those with social disadvantage can benefit greatly from exposure to the arts.

International research* shows arts participation can impact positively on:

  • Social and personal development
  • Attitude to learning
  • Connectedness to community and family
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Arts knowledge and skills
  • General competencies such as communicating, problem solving, planning, organisation and perseverance.

The First Call Fund was established in 2008 thanks to the incredible generosity of Arts Centre Melbourne’s philanthropic supporters. Since then, the fund has continued to grow through the generosity of many different Victorians, who share a belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to engage with the arts in a meaningful way.

Children’s Cancer Centre families will have the opportunity to apply for family passes for shows during the September school holidays.  Interested families should contact us at

Equine Education for CCC Kids

KOALA Kids has been chosen by Horse Back Equine Education to be the charity partner for its new business.
Several lucky families will have the opportunity to participate in a complimentary day of equine education and horse riding at the beautiful Mainridge based property these school holidays.  A donation Horse Back Equine Education will also make a donation to KOALA Kids with every booking received for the school holiday programs, open to children from age 5. There are separate groups for adolescents 13 years and over
Alisha Griffiths, owner of Horseback Winery Tours and Equine Education is well aware of the therapeutic properties associated with horse riding.  Alisha’s 5 year old son Teddy has enjoyed riding as a distraction from his cancer treatment since being diagnosed with  Leukemia  in September 2013. Teddy remains in maintenance treatment at Monash Childrens Cancer Centre.
Many KOALA Kids friends will recall Alisha was the wonderful guest speaker at Halloween lunch last October.  Publicist Belinda Visser organized the HeraldSun photo shoot at the Mainridge property.
The shoot included Teddy and his friend Shayla whom he met at Monash Children’s during their treatment.   The story appeared in the paper on Friday 19 June on page 29.

Petrol heads get their Grand Prix Fix

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation donated another great range of promotional merchandise this year so many families were able to enjoy teddy bears clad in driver’s suits, posters and novelty tee shirts.
KOALA Kids posted a series of messages on Facebook during the week leading up to race weekend and families responded very quickly with their details.  KOALA Kids is often given tickets to shows and promotional merchandise for all sorts of events so if you know a family associated with the Children’s Cancer Centres or undergoing cancer treatment in Victoria, please ask them to email their details to or like KOALAKidsNFP on Facebook and keep up to date with our promotions.

Kids Love Learning

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.15.11 pmKOALA Kids and The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute’s collaborative literacy program is moving up a notch with KOALA Kids providing specific consumables to every early learning, primary and secondary student with cancer to encourage them to write or draw every day with their RCHEI educator on any subject of their choice.
KOALA Kids is providing a small set of age/reading level relevant books for every student each week along with a journal, pen and pencils, a sharpener and a book bag and for the students on the Kookaburra ward, a book box in which to store the books that they collect while in hospital.  Every child can keep the books which have been generously donated by leading publishers and distributors including Hinkler, Lake Press, Hardie Grant Egmont and Five Mile Press.
KOALA Kids is proud to have provided The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute with the bulk of the educational and learning consumables required by the educators in the Children’s Cancer Centre for 1:1 learning for early learning, primary and secondary students in long term cancer treatment.
Dedicated educators in the The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute work with children and young people to accommodate different learning profiles, rates of learning and individual interests by developing an individual learning plan for every young person they support: