Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Our mission is to grant the wish of every eligible child – a quest sparked by the belief that a wish is integral to a child’s treatment.
35 years of wishes
November 2020 marked 35 years of wishes coming true for Australian wish kids.
We've been creating inspirational, life-changing wishes in Australia since 1985 – from the very first wish by 16-year-old Shawn to see his favourite footy team in action.
Thanks to our supporters, more than 10,000 unforgettable wishes have been granted all across Australia.
A wish is not a fleeting gift - each child's Wish Journey is carefully planned and delivered over several stages to create a positive, lasting impact.
- Wishes are designed to complement a child's medical treatment, working to calm, distract and inspire at a time they need it most.
- When a wish is realised, a child discovers that despite their situation, anything is possible.
- In this way, wishes deliver both an immediate boost and long lasting effect on the lives of sick kids, their families and communities.
Around 35 years of feedback from local wish families, along with a growing body of international research, shows that wishes give kids with critical illness greater strength and hope for their future.
Don't just take our word for it - watch the video to experience the goose-bump-inducing, life-changing power of a wish.
We need your help
In Australia today, the latest medical guidelines suggest more than 9,500 children have a life-threatening illness*. Thousands more are born or diagnosed with serious illnesses each year:
- Around 3,000 babies are born with a heart condition each year (health.gov.au)
- One in every 2,500 births produces a child with cystic fibrosis (cysticfybrosis.org.au)
- 950 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer (Children's Cancer Institute)
While many of these children eventually go on to lead normal, healthy lives - the fight for their future is all-consuming. During the weeks, months and often years of treatment, there's little opportunity for sick kids to just be kids and enjoy moments other families take for granted.
As one of Australia's most trusted charities*, we work in partnership with sick children, their families and medical teams to design and deliver wishes that are as unique as the children who imagine them.
No two wishes are alike - but every wish transforms the lives of those involved, from children themselves to their family, friends, the wish team and wider community.
Find out more about our vision, mission and values.
*The Annual Charity RepTrak Study - 2018, 2019 and 2020
Join the #WishForce
With more than 800 families currently on a Wish Journey, we need generous donors, volunteers and supporters to bring wishes to life.
Please, help us make a lasting impact. Together, we can give seriously ill children the anticipation and legacy of one true wish – helping them discover anything is possible.
Behind every child's wish is a team of dedicated specialists, committed to working making the impossible possible.
Our board provide invaluable expertise and leadership.
Our amazing and passionate volunteer network give their time, energy and skills to make wishes come true all over Australia.
Our Ambassadors help raise awareness and increase our impact.
Make-A-Wish Australia is part of the world’s largest wish-granting charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation International.
For more information, visit the Australian Charities and Not- For-Profits Commission website.
Wish children whose images feature on this page:
Fraser, 6, rhabdomyosarcoma - I wish for a black baby dog named Ziggy.
Aedan, 10, cerebral palsy - I wish to feel the wind in my face and different motions .
Dara, 7, Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma - I wish for the ultimate puppy experience.
Archie, 6, congenital heart disease - I wish to be Australia’s newest Cricket Captain.
Audrey, 6, retinoblastoma - I wish to go to the snow in my own rocket.