Founder of Koala Kids, Nick Mandie with his younger sister Daniella (aka La) and family friends (l-r) Ben and Nick McGinn. Koala Kids was created in response to Ben McGinn’s leukaemia diagnosis and treatment from three to seven years old. All four young adults are actively involved in Koala Kids.

Koala Kids Foundation began operation as an independent, not for profit organisation from its current premises in Hawthorn, Victoria in October 2015.

However the Koala Kids story began in 2005 when year 7 Melbourne Grammar student, Nick Mandie had his Bar Mitzvah and decided to start a benevolent program with moneys he had been gifted.

Together with adolescent friends, Nick was hoping to provide holiday experiences for siblings of young children with cancer.  His idea quickly grew into family-centred care and before too long Koala Kids was providing basic art and craft items to the Children’s Cancer Centres at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital. 

Koala Kids operated as a program of the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

Today Koala Kids volunteers provide small things that make a difference to the lives of more than 2,000 children and young people during cancer treatment in Victoria each year, their families and their healthcare team.