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Find out more about wishes

Latest wish stories


How fabulous are our wish alumni volunteers?!

Did you know many, many kids who experience a wish stay involved with our #WishForce in some way? We’re so thankful for those wish alumni who give back in the form of volunteering, sharing their experiences and lending their support to a new generation of wish kids around the country.

Dakota was first introduced to Make-A-Wish five years ago when as a teenager battling a critical illness, she wished to meet One Direction. Fast forward to today and Dakota is graduating university as a primary school teacher, getting married in September AND is an active volunteer with the Brisbane North Branch.

Dakota kindly took some time to share her Make-A-Wish story

Q: Tell us about your One Direction wish!

A: On the very day I was diagnosed I went home and found a band called One Direction on YouTube. I think because I discovered them on that day, to me, it was like they had come into my life for a reason. Their music had helped me so much and that is why I decided to meet them.

My wish journey was about 18 months all up because we had to wait for the band to tour Australia again. During this time I was going through all my year 12 exams, and I was struggling to cope with my illness. It was amazing for me to be able to think, 'If I get through year 12, I will meet the boys'.

My wish came true on October 19, 2013. I was excited, although I just kept thinking it wasn’t going to happen or it was happening to someone else. When I met them, they were all so gentle and kind - I cried the whole time. Harry just hugged me for about two minutes and then all of the boys joined into a big group hug with me in the centre!

My wish has just given me an indescribable amount of happiness. The biggest thing for me when I was struggling with my mental health, was to be able to say to myself, 'the boys want me to be happy and strong'. And that keeps me going. I think about my wish every day. Whenever I look at the photos or hear a certain song of theirs, or even just think about it - I get this feeling of true happiness in my tummy.

Q: How did you get into volunteering?

A: I would recommend a wish to any person that is eligible to get one. I cannot explain the hope and happiness that my wish has and still is giving me five years later. And that is the reason I volunteer with Make-A-Wish now, so that I can spread that happiness.

I’ve been a volunteer for two years now, but I knew it was something I wanted to do as soon as my wish came true. It was difficult to get started, I thought it would be sad but it's not like that at all. It's not all about the illness, it's about the wish.

I recently went on a Home Visit and met a 16-year-old girl who wishes to meet Harry Styles. It was really special to me because I got to share my journey and we talked about how it was special to both of us.

Q: What are your tips for other volunteers?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

A: In my experience, other volunteers don't need words of wisdom. They are so full of love and so much happiness. It's not like going to work, everyone wants to be there and wants to help - which I love.


Find out how you can volunteer here

Event helper volunteers, fabulous, front line and fundraising!

We know how busy you all are and we are so grateful that our wonderful event helper volunteers create gaps in their schedules to help as part of our #WishForce whenever they can.

Busy in the first year of running his recruitment business, Roland still makes time to help make a big impact on kids through his role in the Make-A-Wish #WishForce. When he's not out there helping people to find their dream job, he's happy spending time with his friends and family.

Roland recently volunteered as an event helper, raising funds at his local Hungry Jack’s for World Wish Day.

As a fairly recent addition to the #WishForce, we asked Roland to share his experience so far...

Q: What inspired you to join the #WishForce?

A: I really connected with the idea of people coming together and turning a wish from the imagination of a really sick child into a reality. I saw videos on Facebook of a little boy being sent to the moon and a little girl tasting the rainbow horn of a unicorn. It was so special to see the effect their wishes had, how could you not want to be a part of that?

Volunteering as an event helper really appealed to me as I knew it would fit perfectly with the busy lifestyle I have at the moment. It's an option that allows me to get involved on a smaller scale and still feel like I'm making a difference. Part of our success as a business is ensuring we’re socially aware and giving back to the community. I already knew about Make-A-Wish and was excited about what they do, however volunteering gave me an insight into the difference we could really make as a team.

Q: What have you learnt since joining the #WishForce?

A: I thought volunteering on World Wish Day would be easy, that it would be all warm and fluffy. I did get that 'warm fuzzy feeling' by the end of the day, but I definitely worked for it. It really made me have a lot more respect for volunteering, knowing how much work goes in to raising funds to help grant all those wishes.

Q: What’s your tips for other volunteers?

A: ‘For anyone thinking about being an event helper, I'd say do it! It really helped me to see a glimpse of what's actually involved in volunteering when I wasn't in a position to take on a big commitment. The best part was that it allowed me to be a part of Make-A-Wish and do my bit.

If I were to give other event helpers out there some advice, it would be to go in with the view that you're doing a great thing. Whether you raise $10 or $1,000, it all adds up and goes towards an amazing cause. It's what kept me going, and is something you can be really proud of.


Find out how you can volunteer here

Our office volunteers help take care of business!

Volunteering at Make-A-Wish takes so many forms. In celebration of National Volunteer Week we’re sharing how grateful we are for all the different volunteers that make up our #WishForce.

Courtney volunteered at the Make-A-Wish office in Melbourne for a year and a half while studying. And we’re very excited to share that she has just got a full time job in her chosen field.

Before heading off in her great new role, Courtney shared her office volunteer experience

Q: What do you do at Make-A-Wish?

A: My name is Courtney and I’m 23 years old. I moved to Melbourne from Mildura in 2013 when I started uni. I’m an office volunteer at Make-A-Wish, where I assist the Brand and Communications team. I come in once or twice a week and perform a mix of general administration and communications tasks. These can range from drafting press releases, writing and uploading web content/social posts, and occasionally miscellaneous tasks to help make wishes come true!

I am currently completing my Masters in Marketing, and have just started part time work as a Marketing Assistant. Volunteering at Make-A-Wish was actually my first professional pursuit in the industry. Make-A-Wish stood out to me because I’d heard of the brand and their amazing work before. Make-A-Wish also has this creative element to it that really attracted me as opposed to other corporate environments. I wanted to try and do something a little bit different and also challenge myself to gain experience in the workplace while finishing my degree.

Q: What have you learnt since joining our #WishForce?

A: Make-A-Wish has given me so much confidence in my ability and skills, the support I’ve received has been so wonderful in exciting me to enter into the next stage of my career. I’ve been able to make connections with people from a wide range of roles, and it’s really helped me learn more about what I’d like to do in the future.

The skills and tips I’ve learned from some of the senior staff here have been absolutely priceless, and I have learned something new every single day. These are skills I’ve been able to apply in my new job, and have given me confidence in the workplace.

Q: What’s been the highlight of being a part of the #WishForce?

A: The best part has been seeing up close the impact that the wishes have, on not just the kids but also their families. I’ve loved finding out more about how the creative process works as well; seeing a wish go from an idea to actual reality.

I definitely recommend it (volunteering with Make-A-Wish), especially for younger people who might be finishing their studies and unsure of what they want to do next. Make-A-Wish is such a welcoming organisation, and has a big community feel to it. There is also such a wide range of volunteer roles to get involved with, so there is something to suit everyone no matter how much or little experience you have!


Find out how you can volunteer here

We love our volunteers!

We always love to recognise the efforts of all the different volunteers that make up our #WishForce, and National Volunteer Week is another great reason for us to dial up the thank yous.

As an integral part of our #WishForce, most of our volunteers are based in branches around the country helping make the impossible possible for really sick kids.

Michelle’s been volunteering at our Bayside branch in Victoria for three and a half years. Throughout this time has participated in some amazing fundraising activities, including walking herself on treks of the Great Wall of China and the Kokoda trail, fundraising with every step. What incredible achievements!

Michelle has also been instrumental in pulling together the past three Bayside/Melbourne Gala Balls as well as heaps of branch events. These events and activities are always fun for our generous volunteers and the local community, but also make a huge difference to kids around Australia with the money they raise to create life-changing wishes.

Being part of our #WishForce is just one of the many hats Michelle wears. A champion multitasker, Michelle is also married, has two children and works full time for the National Australia Bank (NAB). She even facilitated what turned out to be a successful NAB community grant application, winning $10,000 in funding for Make-A-Wish!

Michelle offers a huge amount of encouragement and support to other branch volunteers and is a great example of how fundraising for Make-A-Wish can be varied, fun and even take you around the world!

Michelle shares some of her favourite fundraising memories

Q: Tell us about yourself

A: Outside of Make-A-Wish I am married with two daughters. My eldest daughter is actually in the process of becoming a volunteer herself!

As part of my fundraising activities for Make-A-Wish, I've experienced the wonders of the Great Wall of China and I’ve just recently conquered my latest challenge of completing the Kokoda track. This was with a group of amazing and motivated people, all supporting fantastic charities including Make-A-Wish.

Q: What made you join the #WishForce?

A: I first joined Make-A-Wish as I wanted to join a charity that I had no previous connection to (e.g. friends, family or past experience), and also one that supported sick children as I am lucky to have two gorgeous and healthy girls of my own.

Q: What have you loved about your role in the #WishForce?

A: Over the past three years I’ve been fortunate to work with members of both the Bayside and Melbourne volunteer branches in organising the annual gala ball, which has turned into one of my favourite fundraising events. Although it was a lot of hard work, the teamwork was incredible and we all felt extremely proud of our achievement.

The variety of ways we can fundraise and the opportunity to work with the community in supporting a worthy cause is part of what makes fundraising for Make-A-Wish so appealing.

Q: What’s your advice for other members of the #WishForce?

A: When it comes to other volunteers who want to get involved in fundraising, think outside the square and start small - sometimes the simplest ideas are the most profitable!

Q: What keeps you volunteering?

A: Make-A-Wish is an important part of my life as it's given me the opportunity to work with a great bunch of people.. It's really rewarding, especially when we host events in our local community and promote the power of wishes.

What keeps me volunteering? Meeting the wonderful wish kids and their amazing families and seeing the difference that we make in their lives.


Find out how you can volunteer here

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.


Dakota was first introduced to Make-A-Wish five years ago when as a teenager battling a critical illness, she wished to meet One Direction. Fast forward to today and Dakota is an active volunteer.


Busy in the first year of running his recruitment business, Roland still makes time to help make a big impact on kids through his role as an Event Helper.


Courtney volunteered at the Make-A-Wish office in Melbourne for a year and a half while studying, before recently securing a full time job in her chosen field.


Michelle’s been volunteering at our Bayside branch in Victoria for three and a half years, participating in some amazing fundraising activities throughout her time so far.


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.”