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Fraser's wish for a puppy
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We're looking for volunteers in the South Western suburbs of Sydney to help with the high number of wish kids waiting to start their journey! Sign up below to find out more.

Make-A-Wish Australia's longest serving volunteer - Frank Jackowiak 

What made you decide to get involved with Make-A Wish?
"My then business partner and  co-founder of the Adelaide branch, John Hender, and I were both considering joining some type of community group when we heard Evelyn Rigbye speaking about Make-A-Wish on the radio one morning in January 1986. As we were both members of the Life Underwriters Association who were backing the newly formed Make-A-Wish at the time, we thought it would be a natural fit. 30 years later, I’m still here.”

How has volunteering for Make-A-Wish impacted your life?
“It’s been an amazing journey. My wife Helen and I have five very fine (most of the time!) and healthy children, not to mention two beautiful grandchildren. We’re also blessed to be able to assist families who have a child with a life threatening medical condition and to help grant a life-changing wish. 

“It’s been a humbling experience, with strangers opening their doors to us and looking forward to our working a bit of magic into the lives of their children"

“It’s been a humbling experience, with strangers opening their doors to us and looking forward to our working a bit of magic into the lives of their children (and siblings). Volunteering for Make-A-Wish has taught us not to take anything for granted; it only takes an event or change in health to turn your world upside down. We count our blessings.”

How do you find the time to volunteer for us?
“I’m very fortunate that I’ve been self-employed for most of my working life, with Helen working in my office (telling me what to do!) for the last ten years. This has provided me with flexibility to do things and meet supporters during the day, although of course you pay for that at times by staying back late at work to catch up, or working on weekends. Still, both Helen and I are passionate about granting cherished wishes and Make-A-Wish has always been a high priority for us.”

What is your best memory of Make-A-Wish so far?
“It’s so difficult to choose one particular moment that stands out. Naturally, all the wishes I’ve been involved with have been special - that’s what Make-A-Wish is all about! Even the difficult ones have left me feeling like I’ve done something special for that child and their family. 

"I’ve been so fortunate in being part of such a proactive and successful branch. Adelaide now has 10 volunteers who have been with the organisation for over 20 years! I also really enjoyed my five years on the Make-A-Wish International Nominating Committee, having had the opportunity of interviewing some amazing people who’ve gone on to be Board Members of Make-A-Wish International. 

“There are so many memories, but first and foremost comes each and every wish, and the wonderful staff and volunteers that make it all happen.” 

How important is Make-A-Wish to you?
“It’s a huge part of my and Helen’s life; I’m sure life would be very different if we hadn’t been part of Make-A-Wish. Apart from our work, our family, our church and Make-A-Wish are all very precious to us and form the core around which our lives are built. We’ve made many friends in and through Make-A-Wish and it’s one of a small number of charities that we regularly donate to. The power of a wish is not just amazing, it’s irresistible!”

Congratulations Frank - what an incredible achievement!


What made you decide to get involved with Make-A Wish?

“Children have always been in my life. I’ve been a babysitter, a teacher, and I’ve got many, many cousins.  I wanted an outlet away from my work, where my skills and interests would be useful and where I was meeting another group of people.

“When Frank Jackowiak told me about Make-A-Wish, the work they did resonated with me and I wanted to learn more. The mission was so in line with what I remembered my mother talking about when she spoke of my two siblings who had passed away. She remembered the good things that happened, the special memories. I wanted to help create those memories for others. An information session (now called training!) later, and I was a Make-A-Wish volunteer – and a passionate one at that.”

How has volunteering for Make-A-Wish impacted your life?

“I have no doubt that it has made me a more “rounded” person. I have developed skills I never thought I would be capable of like fundraising, talking to very large groups of people, and meeting and working with a diverse and broad range of people.

“Hopefully I have become a better person from all of these. Twenty-five years ago I was a shy person, rarely putting myself in a situation where I wasn’t comfortable. Wanting to do so much for our wish children and their families pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I ‘just did it’, as the saying goes.

“Because of my years as a volunteer, I’ve also been graced with a new family – the other branch volunteers have become a family to me as we work towards a common goal. They are my Make-A-Wish family.”

How do you find the time to volunteer for us?

“If you love what you are doing, you seem to find the time. It’s easier now I am retired, but I’m also busier now than when I volunteered and had a fulltime job. Prioritising and learning how to say no have been important.”

What is your best memory of Make-A-Wish so far?

“After all these years it’s impossible to have a best. There are so many wonderful memories – my wishes are so important to me. Each and every one is unique in its own way. Working alongside other volunteers has also been memorable – there’s been laughter, tears and groans – but always with good spirit.”

How important is Make-A-Wish to you?

“I would not be the person I am today without Make-A-Wish. My extended family, friends and acquaintances hear about Make-A-Wish and if nothing else, I hear “You are certainly passionate about Make-A-Wish.”

“Make-A-Wish has made my life so much better. It gives me so much joy to know I am a cog in the wheel that is making life better for our dear children.”

Interested in becoming a Make-A-Wish volunteer and making a life-changing difference to really sick kids? Express your interest today.

Sarah and Dave - volunteers since 2014

I started volunteering because… 

“A friend of mine’s son had a wish granted. The difference his wish made to that family was enormous; so big that they struggle to put it into words, even today. Seeing the impact his wish had not only on him, but on the entire extended family, highlighted the power of a wish to me.” 
- Sarah

My favourite memory is... 

“In mid-2014 when I started working closely with our branch Vice President to plan our annual Ball. We established a close friendship that eventually crossed into dating… and now we’re getting married! We share the same vision about Make-A-Wish and helping those in need; we love volunteering for this charity.” - Dave

How I find the time to volunteer… 

“Like anything that I find important in my life, I find the time because I make the time!” - Dave

Make-A-Wish is important to me because… 

“Being part of something bigger than myself has always been an important part of my life. If my work for Make-A-Wish means a child and their family have happiness bought to their lives, then it’s worth my time and effort.” - Sarah

Volunteering for Make-A-Wish has impacted on me because…

“It has helped me appreciate what I have in life. I’ve met some amazing people who share the same vision and values about life as I do. Volunteering for such a worthy cause is one of the best things I have ever done.” - Dave

Volunteers making a very special delivery

Volunteer profiles

Read about some of our incredible volunteers who give their time, passion and skills to help make wishes come true around Australia.


With a PHD in volunteer management, Rambo has the perfect background for his role as Volunteer Care Coordinator of Perth branch! Rambo has previously led the branch as President, while also building a successful career in IT management.

Sarah and Dave

Sarah and Dave are President and Vice President of our Alice Springs volunteer branch. After meeting as volunteers, they realised that they had more in common than Make-A-Wish - and are getting married!


This year Charmaine from our Adelaide branch is celebrating 25 years of volunteering with Make-A-Wish. In honour of this incredible milestone, we asked Charmaine about her time as a volunteer, and the impact that Make-A-Wish has had on her life.



Rambo Ramadianee

Rambo Ramadianee at an event

Volunter since 1999

With a PHD in volunteer management, Rambo has the perfect background for his role as Volunteer Care Coordinator of Perth branch! Rambo has previously led the branch as President, while also building a successful career in IT management.

How I find time to volunteer…. “I care about it, so I find the time! You volunteer because you are passionate and want to make a difference.”

My favourite memory from volunteering is…. “A new volunteer had just been on her first wish, and she was sharing her experience at our monthly branch meeting. To see the smile and emotions as she talked was heart-warming. There was a moment in her story when she said, “This six year old boy looked at me and said ‘this is the best day of my life’.” We could all feel it, even though we weren’t there ourselves.”

Make-A-Wish is important to me because… “It gives me an opportunity to make a difference. My personal drive in life is to make a difference in the lives of everyone that I meet. If I can put a smile on their face for one hour, the rest of the day or for years – it all matters.”

Volunteers making a very special delivery

How you can volunteer

There are many ways that you can volunteer for Make-A-Wish, choose the role that suits you best below

Join your local community group

We are lucky to be represented in every state and territory, with more than 50 groups across Australia. Your local community group works together to grant wishes and raise much needed funds within your local area. Meet and work with other inspirational volunteers on an ongoing basis with a real sense of community and teamwork.

Join us in the office

You can support the staff in our offices by helping out with a wide range of tasks from wish research, speaking with our supporters on the phones, data entry, and other administrative activities. Contact us today to discuss your interest in joining us in the office.

Student Work Experience

Our work experience program give students the chance to work with our staff to gain an understanding of all of the important elements that have to come together to enable us to grant wishes.

Corporate volunteering

Does your workplace have a group of volunteers looking to give back? At various times throughout the year we have opportunities for businesses to get involved.

Share your professional skills with us

If you have a skill that you think could help us, please let us know. In the past a few of these volunteers have included photographers who help us capture our wish stories; we’ve had corporate consultants help us develop strategic plans; and we’ve had graphic designers help create artwork for our marketing materials.

Browse specific opportunities

You can also apply for one of the specific volunteering roles we’re looking to fill. Some of these are one-off opportunities and others are ongoing positions.

Event / Fundraising

If you would love to help out at some of our events or even volunteer to run events in your own community register your interest to find out what’s happening in your local area

Contact us

Make an enquiry or find out how to get in touch with us.



Jack, 10, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, wished to go surfing with his hero.


Make-A-Wish Australia welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds, recognising the varied skills and abilities they bring with them. By volunteering you can gain new skills, make new friends and have fun, all while enjoying the sense of reward that comes from making a difference and knowing you're helping to make wishes come true

Types of Volunteer

There are many different ways to lend your skills to Make-A-Wish and help us to make wishes come true. Find out more about the types of roles you can take on as a volunteer.

Volunteer FAQs

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help explain what's involved in joining the Make-A-Wish team.

Volunteer profiles

Find out what its like to be a Make-A-Wish volunteer

Contact us

Make an enquiry or find out how to get in touch with us.

Volunteer Hall of Fame

View the past winners of the Aidan McCann Make-A-Wish Australia Volunteer Hall of Fame Award.

More about us


Volunteer Hall of Fame

Volunteers are a vital part of Make-A-Wish and every single one of them is special. Each year, at the annual AGM and volunteers conference, at least one of our fabulous volunteers is inducted into the Make-A-Wish Australia Hall of Fame to recognise their wonderful support.

The Hall of Fame Award was first introduced at the 2005 AGM and Volunteers Conference, to publicly recognise a volunteer who had made a significant contribution to Make-A-Wish Australia. At the 2007 AGM and Volunteers Conference the Award was renamed the Aidan McCann Make-A-Wish Australia Hall of Fame Award in honour of former wish child and Melbourne branch volunteer, Aidan McCann, who lost his battle with cystic fibrosis in late 2006. Aidan was one of the inductees in 2007 in acknowledgement of his passion for the cause.

2017 - Rambo Ramdianee (Perth branch)

Congratulations to our 2017 recipient of the Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame Award – Rambo Ramdianee!

President of Perth Branch, Whitney Williamson nominated Rambo for the award and had this to say about him:

“I have never met someone who is as passionate about volunteering as Rambo. Helping others is what gets him going in the morning, so much so that he completed his doctoral thesis on how to motivate volunteers. If you ask Rambo what he is up to on any given weekend his answer is always an assortment of activities to help various not-for-profits and individuals in need. Fortunately for us, Rambo can often be heard saying ‘my true love is Make-A-Wish’.

Rambo has been volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Perth Branch for 17 years. So often when telling someone that I volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Perth branch, they respond ‘oh is Rambo still there?’. This is normally followed with a story about the positive impact Rambo had on their life. Whether it’s a wish recipient seven years down the track who still speaks of how Rambo’s positivity helped them during a time of struggle, or a volunteer on the other side of the country recounting the time they visited Perth and Rambo picked them up from the airport and took them out to dinner, Rambo spreads good vibes everywhere he goes.

There is no task too big or small for Rambo. He’ll tie balloon animals for kids dressed as a pirate, shake collection tins on the street corner, and he has held several leadership positions within our branch. He leads by example and is totally respected by each and every one of our volunteers. Although we feel our branch would be lost without Rambo, he devotes hours into building up the skills and confidence of other volunteers, encouraging them to take leadership roles within our branch, and mentors them throughout the role. But this doesn’t stop at volunteers. Rambo uses his expertise to assist Make-A-Wish staff members and management too."

We would like to say a huge Thank You Rambo and congratulations!


2016 - Christine Moore (Western Sydney branch)

Christine Moore - 2016 Aidan McCann Hall of Fame inductee

Congratulations to our 2016 recipient of the Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame Award - Christine Moore from the Western Sydney branch.

Christine is an incredibly deserving recipient - as described by Western Sydney branch President Emma Gillham, when presenting the Award: 

“Chris, you’ve been an invaluable volunteer for our branch. In the last 6 years you have been part of the wish team for 126 wish children and your enthusiasm for each and every single wish you help to realise is inspiring.

“You are always willing to go that extra mile, and keep looking for new ways to ensure our volunteers feel valued within the branch. Your positive attitude and passion for everything Make-A-Wish is amazing. Our branch is very lucky to have you and we are all looking forward to working with you for many years to come.”

Thank you for your outstanding contribution, Christine!


2015 - Robyn Moore (National Patron and Hobart branch volunteer) 

 Robyn Moore with Gerard Menses CEO

The 2015 recipient of the Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame Award is Robyn Moore, our National Patron and volunteer with the Hobart branch.

Robyn lives and breathes the Make-A-Wish values. Hailing from Tasmania, she is recognised by her peers as a someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty, inspiring volunteers, office staff and the general public with her overwhelming passion for our wonderful organisation.

Her positive attitude is infectious, and her ability to overcome obstacles and spread positivity throughout her volunteer branch and beyond is a testament to her character.

Having volunteered with Make-A-Wish for over 18 years, she regularly goes out of her way to attend events and support and mentor both new and experienced volunteers right across Australia. She also spreads the word about Make-A-Wish with corporate, media and public audiences through her work as a motivational speaker.

Congratulations Robyn, we are so lucky to have you!


2014 - Paul and Lyn Shegog (Hobart Branch)

Paul and Lyn Shegog presented with their award by CEO Gerard Menses and National Patron Robyn Moore

The 2014 Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame Award is jointly awarded to Paul and Lyn Shegog from the Hobart Volunteer Branch.

Paul and Lyn's long involvement with Make-A-Wish began many years ago. As parents to two children, Emma and Brett, they experienced the power of a wish themselves. Emma and Brett sadly passed away, but Paul and Lyn have remained incredibly committed to supporting Make-A-Wish in making the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions come true.

Known for their selflessness and dedication to their work, the Shegogs have worked tirelessly with their branch to make wishes come true in the Hobart community. They believe wholeheartedly in Make-A-Wish's mission and the power of a wish, and their positivity and commitment has been an ongoing inspiration to fellow volunteers and staff.

Congratulations and thank you Lyn and Paul for your outstanding contribution to Make-A-Wish!


2013 - Pam Rimmer (Wollongong Branch)

Pam Rimmer 2013 Aiden McCann Volunteer Hall of Hame Award

The 2013 recipient of the Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame Award is Pam Rimmer from the Wollongong Branch.

Pam began volunteering in 2006 when she joined the Goulburn Branch. At that time, attending Branch meetings involved a 90-minute journey in each direction from her Wollongong home – an early sign of Pam’s hallmark commitment.

Later instrumental in establishing the Wollongong Branch, Pam became its inaugural President in 2010. Since then, under her inspiring and inclusive leadership, the branch has gone from strength to strength. 

Pam’s passion and enthusiasm for Make-A-Wish are beyond question. She works tirelessly in support of our mission and has a flair for fostering strong relationships with community and business supporters, wish families, Make-A-Wish staff and fellow volunteers alike.

Congratulations Pam!


2012 - Christine Hodge (Mandurah-Rockingham Branch)

Christine Hodge, from the Mandurah-Rockingham Branch of Make-A-Wish, is the Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame recipient in 2012.

Christine has been an active member of the Mandurah-Rockingham Branch since 2003, during which time she has built and maintained many relationships with local supporters and contacts, welcomed new volunteers to the branch, assisted in opening the Wishing You Well store among other achievements.

Thank you Christine for your incredible support of Make-A-Wish.


2011 - Yvonne Nurnberger (Mackay Branch)

Yvonne Nurnberger, from Mackay Branch of Make-A-Wish, was announced as the 2011 Aidan McCann Volunteer Hall of Fame recipient.

Yvonne has been volunteering with Make-A-Wish for over 20 years and is the longest serving member of the Mackay Branch. During her time volunteering, she has taken on multiple roles at the branch to help build and maintain relationships with local supporters and contacts in Mackay and the surrounding region.

Her tireless dedication and commitment to Make-A-Wish was also recognised when she recieved an Order of Australian Medial.

Yvonne has impressed Make-A-Wish staff and other volunteers with her fundraising efforts and strong leadership skills when she took on the role of Branch President for five years. Thank you Yvonne!


2010 - Joan Fawdry (Burnie Branch)

Joan Fawdry 2010 Aiden McCann Hall of Fame recipient

Joan Fawdry from the Burnie branch was the worthy winner of the 2010 Aidan McCann Make-A-Wish Australia Hall of Fame.

Joan has volunteered with Make-A-Wish for over 15 years and has held the President's role at the Burnie Branch for most of this time - a testament to her dedication and strong leadership skills.

Her work with Make-A-Wish was recognised by the Burnie City Council in 2002 and then again in 2007 in 'Volunteer Legends' for her tireless work in the Burnie community.

The strong presence of Make-A-Wish in Burnie and the surrounding region has been fostered and developed by Joan. She has built strong relationships with many local businesses, schools, parliamentarians, the Mayor and the Advocate newspaper - and many of these businesses and individuals have now come on board to support Make-A-Wish.

Joan does an amazing job of keeping Burnie branch volunteers highly motivated and enthused.


2009 - Frank Jackowiak (Adelaide Branch)

Frank Jackowiak 2009 Aiden McCann Hall of Fame recipient

Frank Jackowiak from Adelaide Branch was announced as the 2009 'Aidan McCann' Make-A-Wish Australia Hall of Fame recipient at the 2009 AGM and Volunteers Conference held last weekend.

Frank has made a significant contribution to Make-A-Wish Australia over the years. He was a founding member and instigator of the Adelaide Branch, has been a tireless, dedicated and committed volunteer for over 23 years, a positive inspiration and role model to existing volunteers, new volunteers and Make-A-Wish staff, has served as a Director of Make-A-Wish Australia, held numerous positions within the Adelaide Branch during his tenure and continually networks and fundraises for Make-A-Wish including during overseas and interstate holidays

In the words of two of the Adelaide volunteers:

"Frank has been involved with the Adelaide Branch of Make-A-Wish for over twenty three years. His enthusiasm for the Foundation never wanes, sometimes I wonder how he finds time to make a living and have a successful business as he never stops working tirelessly for the branch."

"Frank as a volunteer is always someone you can count on, always going the extra mile. I just wish you could see the tireless amount of volunteering that Frank does for the Foundation and always with such good spirit. He will drop everything at any time to attend functions, grant wishes or source prizes. His commitment is amazing."


2008 - Pat Russell (Bundaberg Branch)

Pat Russell 2008 Aiden McCann Hall of Fame recipient

Pat Russell, President of Make-A-Wish Australia's Bundaberg Branch was inducted into the Aidan McCann Make-A-Wish Australia Hall of Fame at the 2008 AGM and Volunteers Conference.

Pat is a worthy recipient of this year's award, having been a volunteer with Make-A-Wish for 14 years and President of the Bundaberg Branch for 12 years. This is a testament to both her dedication and her strong leadership skills.

Earlier this year Pat received nominations for Australian of the Year and the Premier's Award for Queensland Seniors. This was in large partly due to her tireless and selfless work with Make-A-Wish Australia and illustrates how she is perceived within the community.

Make-A-Wish currently has a very strong presence in Bundaberg and the surrounding region which has been fostered and developed by Pat and she was instrumental in the establishment of the Fraser Coast Branch (QLD).

The Bundaberg Branch is an extremely successful fundraising branch and this has been due largely to Pat establishing and maintaining a loyal band of major supporters and media contacts.

Pat is seen as a great role model for other volunteers, being a great source of knowledge and she is never hesitant to share this knowledge.

As one of the 29 volunteers at the Bundaberg Branch recently said of Pat, 'Attending meetings which are held regularly on a monthly basis is a very pleasant experience as Pat is always the first to arrive and greets each volunteer thus making you feel that you are a most important part of the organisation and that the meeting would not be the same without you. You are encouraged to take part in all discussions and are never made to feel that your contribution is of little consequence.'

Congratulations Pat from everybody in the Make-A-Wish Australia family!


2007 - Sylvia Rouleston (Hobart Branch)

Sylvia Rouleston 2007 Aiden McCann Hall of Fame recipient

In 2007, there were two recipients of the award. Firstly, former wish child and Melbourne branch volunteer, Aidan McCann, who lost his battle with cystic fibrosis late last year, was honoured with a Hall of Fame induction. As further acknowledgment of his passion for the cause, the award was then renamed in his honour.

The first recipient of the Aidan McCann award was the amazing Sylvia Rouleston, President of the Hobart Branch. Sylvia was recognised for her significant contribution to Make-A-Wish Australia which includes:

• Strong leadership of a very successful volunteer branch for 16 years 
• Introducing Robyn Moore, the Make-A-Wish Australia National Patron 
• Raising the profile and awareness of Make-A-Wish Australia in Hobart and the surrounding region

In an emotional speech, Sylvia paid tribute to Aidan. "He was a wonderful young man who lived his life to the full, while also having time to give of himself so that other children's lives could be filled with a little joy. I feel so privileged to be the first recipient of this award in his name."


2006 - Rosa-Lee Pisani (Port Pirie Branch)

Rose-Lee Pisani the 2006 Hall of Fame recipient

At the 2006 Annual General Meeting and National Volunteers Conference, Rosa-Lee Pisani was inducted into the Make-A-Wish Hall of Fame. Rosa-Lee is currently the President of the Port Pirie Branch in South Australia.

Just some of Rosa-Lee's achievements include

  • fostering the development of two South Australian Make-A-Wish branches, Whyalla and Yorke Peninsula.
  • Acting as a mentor to other South Australian branch Presidents and volunteers.
  • Establishing South Australian volunteer conferences together with another volunteer.
  • Providing strong leadership to the Port Pirie Branch – a small branch but one that is huge in terms of passion and commitment owing to Rosa-Lee's contagious enthusiasm.

Most of all Rosa-Lee is a wonderful ambassador for Make-A-Wish in her local community. Thanks Rosa-Lee!


2005 - Mary Hipkins (Gold Coast Branch)

Mary Hipkins the inaugural recipient of the Hall of Fame Award

Mary Hipkins was the Make-A-Wish Australia's inaugural recipient of its Hall of Fame Award.

Having served as a volunteer with the Gold Coast Branch for 15 years, Mary's enthusiastic commitment to the Foundation in her role as Hosting Coordinator has inspired volunteers, staff and the community alike.

Hosting coordinators greet local and international wish families at their destination and are the main point of contact during their stay.

With Gold Coast Theme Parks being a popular destination for wish children and their families, Mary and her fantastic team of hosts are kept busy ensuring each and every child's wish experience is unique and memorable.