Every child deserves a happy childhood

When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, life can become consumed by hospital and treatment. It’s scary and overwhelming.  That's why Starlight exists.

Through play, creativity, and social connection, we create the fun and happiness seriously ill children and their families need to get through their toughest times.  Starlight programs:

Transform the hospital and healthcare experience of kids and young people across Australia.

Connect kids, teens and families, helping to overcome the social isolation associated with serious illness.

Entertain by providing moments of positive disruption which help to replace pain, boredom and stress, with joy, laughter and fun.

At Starlight we know what happens in childhood lasts a lifetime. Positive psychology research shows happiness is integral to our overall wellbeing and quality of life. It matters in the moment, and it matters long term. 

As a vital partner in the healthcare system, we create moments of happiness every day in hospitals and communities across Australia. 

Happiness helps sick kids feel more positive about hospital and treatment. It boosts their resilience, helping them cope with pain, fear, isolation and stress. 

So, when you give to Starlight, you’re helping to improve the lives of seriously ill children and young people, now, and into the future.

Because happiness matters. 

Starlight's impact

We continually evaluate and measure the impact of all our Programs. Evaluation helps to ensure our program experiences are the best they possibly can be for kids, teens, their families, and the health professionals we partner with.   

Independent evaluations conducted by PWC and Social Ventures Australia showed the value Starlight programs create for the community:

Impact from a family's perspective

Most importantly kids, teens and their families share the positive difference Starlight makes:

To all the beautiful, amazing Captains, we thank you! You guys are amazing earth angels. The care and time you give to the kids is amazing. Harper didn't want to leave today as she wanted to come see you all. She has seen hospital as a fun place thanks to you all. We are forever grateful.

- Blake family

I had been so worried how we were going to get through my daughter’s vaccination appointment but the Captains did an amazing job, and made the whole process so much easier!

- Parent

Being able to receive a Starlight Wish really made us feel like people understand how tough life has been for Izzy and the family. I think Izzy feels like she has been rewarded for her patience and tolerance during treatment.

- Izzy’s Mum, Tegan

It’s harder to connect in person as most people see my disability or equipment before me. On Livewire, no one sees my wheelchair first. They just see me as a person.

- Livewire Online member

What our healthcare partners have to say

We always seek input from our health partners to better meet needs and to enhance program impact. Here is what some of our health partners have to say about Starlight:

Captains on Call created such a positive experience for patients and families during a stressful and anxious time. Children absolutely love the Captains, they make it fun & distract them so well.

- Clinician Retinoblastoma Clinic at Queensland Children’s Hospital

Livewire has been a much-loved addition to the unit, with young people engaging beautifully in creative projects. They are often looking forward to Livewire visiting the ward, and there is a wonderful sense of empowerment in being able to engage with, and complete, creative projects with support from Livewire staff. Several surveys conducted on the ward have deemed Livewire to be one of the most enjoyable groups offered to our patients. Both the clinical team and the young people are thrilled to have their ongoing presence on our unit.

- Sarah Versitano, Registered Art Therapist

In 2022 we were incredibly excited to launch Captain Starlight’s very own online home, Planet Starlight! Recently a nurse from Wollongong shared:

The kids are so excited to be able to interact with Captain Starlight right from their own rooms. It really helps relieve the boredom and stress they face being in hospital, so it’s a real game changer for us.

1,307,265 total positive Starlight experiences created in 2022

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of our generous supporters, Starlight continued to bring fun, laughter and joy to seriously ill children and young people in hospitals and in communities right around Australia.