Hospital Heroes Gallery: Raising the Bar

The RCH150 Hospital Heroes Gallery celebrates the heroes of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) – those who go above and beyond to make the RCH one of the world’s great hospitals for children.

Raising the Bar showcases some of the generous volunteers, supporters and fundraisers who play a vital role in enabling the hospital to provide the very best care to sick children.

Proudly supported by BankVic, the member-owned bank for health workers. Find out more at

​This gallery is in celebration of those who embody the spirit of giving in support of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.


RCH Champion

Tim Brayshaw

For fundraiser Tim Brayshaw, the sky’s the limit. As the founder of the Moondreamz Foundation, Tim is passionately raising funds and awareness for children with brain-related diseases by supporting the RCH Neurology Department.

“Moondreamz has brought to my life incredible clarity and a feeling of joy. It makes my heart beat differently and this is something we can all feel through the act of giving back,” said Tim.

Check out the Moondreamz video.

Photographer: Hannah Phemister

Information Desk Volunteers

The RCH Volunteer Program

Dianne Brassington

The volunteers at Main Street Reception’s Information Desk are the first faces you’ll see when you arrive at the RCH. Dianne Brassington is one of the many individuals who generously volunteers her time to welcome patients, families and guests and assist with way-finding and navigating around the hospital. Known as Main Street Reception’s “fairy godmother”, Dianne has brought smiles to the faces of children and their families since her first day of volunteering at the RCH in 2013.

“I give children stickers and the delighted look on their face is priceless, you would think I had given them a fortune. I also use a wand as a pointer for wayfinding, the children ask, “are you a fairy?” and my reply “no I’m a fairy godmother!”

Photographer: Hannah Phemister

Uncle Bobs Club

Good Friday Appeal Fundraisers

L-R: Paul Etherington (State
President) and Steven
Bates (State Secretary)

In 1941, as the world was at war, a group of friends in a pub in Auburn decided to raise funds for children requiring orthopaedic support at the RCH by foregoing the cost of a round of beer per week (which was a shilling, known as a bob). At that moment, these men made a commitment to support the RCH and nearly 80 years later are one of Good Friday Appeal’s longest standing supporters, raising over $18 million. Their ongoing fundraising is made possible thanks to their dedicated volunteers who rattle tins, support activations at Kids Day Out and collaborate with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority in support of the Good Friday Appeal.

“We’re truly inspired by the incredible work of teams across the hospital. We have been supporting children’s health at the hospital for nearly 80 years and over this time we have raised over $18 million for the Good Friday Appeal. We are very proud as a Victorian based club to be helping Victoria’s children and this is what motivates us to continue volunteering and fundraising. Our work would not be possible without our members and supporters including 7-Eleven, Freemasons Victoria, CFA and MFB who volunteer with us,” said Paul.

Photographer: Jemma Gauci

Garden Program Volunteers

The RCH Volunteer Program

Kenn Williamson

The RCH Garden Program aims to diminish the negative effects of hospitalisation through multisensory experiences. Based out of the Adolescent Ward Garden, the program is designed to provide supportive garden environments. They  get patients into the fresh air and encourage them to focus on the healthy aspects of self to improve recovery.

The program would not be possible without the longstanding volunteers like Kenn Williamson (pictured) who has volunteered since 2007.

Learn more about the Garden Program Volunteers.

Photographer: Hannah Phemister

Emergency Department Volunteers

The RCH Volunteer Program

David Eedle

The RCH Emergency Department volunteers work around the clock to ensure the social and emotional needs of patients, families and staff are met during what may be an intensely stressful time.

The resilience and professionalism displayed by the ED volunteers are greatly admired, as they provide undivided attention to families and ease the workload of ED medical and allied health staff to ensure they tend to a great number of patients at the RCH. David Eedle (pictured) has proudly been volunteering within the RCH ED department for 8 years as of July 2021.

Photographer: Hannah Phemister

Pet Therapy Program

Volunteer Erna Miller and Savannah.

The Lort Smith Pet Therapy program aims to improve the wellbeing of patients through positive contact with specially trained therapy dogs. These dogs support patients in many ways, including encouraging postoperative movement, calming children before they sleep and creating meaningful bonds for those who may be missing their own pet back at home.

Watch the Pet Therapy Program video.

Photographer: Rodney Favola


Friends of Transcend

RCH Champions, Friends of Transcend

Georgie Stone and Rebekah Robertson

In 2012 Rebekah Robertson founded Friends of Transcend which was the first parent led peer support network for families of transgender children in Australia. Friends of Transcend offers families attending the RCH Gender Service the opportunity to meet others going through the same challenges, as well as advocating for trans and gender diverse children, supporting the good work of the Gender Service and providing information nationally via their website and community connections.

“For families with a trans or gender diverse child, there are three questions early in the journey: if supporting your child through this process is the right thing; if it is, where do you get the right support; are there other families like yours out there? Friends of Transcendhelps families navigate the journey because supportive and informed families are the best hope for trans and gender diverse young people,” said Rebekah.

Photo supplied by The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne


Starlight Children’s Foundation Volunteer Program

L-R: Starlight volunteers Conor Lehman, Lori Fahey and Adam Anderson

Starlight’s Livewire program supports teenagers living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability helping them connect with others, explore their creativity and develop new skills.

All Livewire workshops are run by trained Livewire facilitators and a team of volunteers which include music, art, photography, film making, creative writing, multi-media and celebrity visits.

Photographer: Sally Nan Won​

Cancer in Kids Auxiliary

The RCH Auxiliaries

L-R: Dianne Attrill, Hillary Malkinson,
Sala Rubinstein, Collen Clift, Rachelle
Better-Johnston and Vivian Wang

Established in 1980 by a group of dedicated parents, the Cancer in Kids at RCH Auxiliary (CIKA) are committed to improving outcomes for children with cancer. Together they have raised over $4 million for the RCH, and actively support the Children’s Cancer Centre Tissue Bank as well as provide funding for research into solid tumours, the most common form of childhood cancer.

“CIKA’s main, ambitious goal is to eliminate cancer altogether, but we also want to ensure those kids who get cancer not only survive but improve their outcomes long term,” said CIKA Vice-President, Ellen Webb.

Photographer: Jemma Gauci​

Louise Gourlay AM, Patron

The RCH Auxiliaries

When Louise Gourlay AM was approached by Lady Rosemary Derham to first join the Board of Management of the RCH in the early 1980s, she was initially taken aback. Louise was a mother of four small children, but fortunately, had never had to set foot inside the hospital. Despite this initial hesitation, Louise quickly became a passionate advocate for the RCH and nearly 40 years later is still involved with the hospital. Louise received an Order of Australia Medal in 1999 and Member of the Order of Australia in 2021 for her work with the RCH Auxiliaries. She remains a passionate advocate for the hospital as the Patron of Auxiliaries.

“To be in amongst the compassionate people that are part of an organisation like this is stimulating, it’s part of my makeup that I appreciate that there are good people doing good things and I want to be part of it I suppose … It’s not giving back, it’s just being part of helping if you can … I am going to keep going as long as I can,” said Louise.

Photographer: Hannah Phemister​

In loving memory of Patricia Glazner

The RCH Auxiliaries

Patricia (Pat) Glazner was a much-loved member of Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust Auxiliary which continues to support research into treatment and long-term effects of cystic fibrosis. Pat received her 20 years long service badge and a Living Treasure award in 2008 to honour her tremendous contributions towards the RCH. Pat sadly passed away in 2020.

Photographer: Rodney Favola

Cancer Crusaders

The RCH Auxiliaries

L – R: Ruth Murray, Nutan Gallina, Sharron Markovic, Lorraine Wagner and Ann Cooper

Established in 2013, the Cancer Crusaders are a small and incredibly passionate group of fundraisers who are committed to funding the fight against childhood cancer. Consisting of just 12 members, the Cancer Crusaders are well admired in their community and across campus and are famous for their dinner dances, fundraising stalls and sticky date puddings.

The Cancer Crusaders are a fundraising force to be reckoned with, having raised over $550,000 for the RCH since their inception, enabling vital support for children with cancer, including the dedicated funding of a Clinical Trials Coordinator. Clinical trials are crucial to ensuring that all children with cancer have equitable access to new treatments and novel therapeutic drugs, and thanks to the support of Cancer Crusaders, these trials are also fully integrated into the total care program for each patient, including from initial diagnostic investigations to the planning of surgical interventions and the coordination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Photographer: Sally Nan Won​

Education Department Volunteer Teachers

The RCH Volunteer Program

Greg Holman

A hospital stay causes many disruptions to a child or young person’s life, including missing out on school. However, for patients at the RCH, the Education Institute ensures learning and engagement never stops, and keeps students connected to their regular school or kindergarten by bridging the gap between hospital and home.

The RCH Education Institute team, consisting of teachers, education consultants and additional learning support staff, cater for all learning abilities and levels from kindergarten through to secondary school. The teamwork closely with a patient’s enrolled school to make sure they can continue their learning and are able to transition back smoothly once they have been discharged from hospital.

The Education Institute Team is supported by several volunteers to help deliver the programs to patients every day. Many of the volunteers have an education background, such as Greg Holman (pictured), a retired teacher and principal. Greg is the longest-serving volunteer at the Ed Institute and became a volunteer teacher at the RCH after missing interacting with children. He is well known for his kind nature, knowledge and excellent sense of humour, having supported the program for over 14 years.

Photographer: Jemma Gauci​

22 Engineer Regiment and Friends

Good Friday Appeal Fundraisers

Eric (Jock) Howatt

For 31 years Eric (Jock) Howatt and his band of helpers at 22 Engineer Regiment and Friends have supported the hospital by rattling tins and have contributed over $400,000 towards medical excellence at the RCH. Jock is extremely dedicated to supporting the RCH after his son, Adam was treated at the RCH before losing his battle with cancer.

“Having spent three years at the hospital with my son, supporting the Good Friday Appeal is something Victorians need to do to make this hospital the best hospital in the world,” said Eric.

Check out Eric’s video.

Photographer: Jemma Gauci

Teddy Bear Hospital

University of Melbourne Medical Student Volunteer Program

Catherine Yao, Chelsea Xu, Chiara Dogliotti, Jasmine Louis and Samar Hikmat

Established in 2009, the Teddy Bear Hospital is run by volunteer medicine, nursing and allied health students at the University of Melbourne. The Teddy Bear Hospital gives kids the opportunity to participate in mock consultations with their teddies, and are designed to decrease any fears they may have about doctor’s visits while aiming to promote health literacy among children.

Watch the Teddy Bear Hospital video.

Photographer: Hannah Phemister​

Pied Pipers

Good Friday Appeal Fundraisers

Cindy An and Nicole Brogden

In June 1969, a small group of people volunteering on the Good Friday Appeal, answering telephones and making collections, decided to band together to form a social and fundraising club.

Today, the Pied Pipers’ main fundraising events include tin shaking on Good Friday and the sale of the annual AFL Grand Final Posters as well as decorating the hospital wards for Christmas. Since their establishment, the Pied Pipers have raised over $8.3 million for the RCH.

Photographer: Patrick Riley

This project is proudly supported by: