In1985,two Australians heard a speech that changed their lives. Since that time, Make-A- Wish Australia has granted almost 7000 wishes to Australian children with a life threatening medical conditions.
The purpose of the Make-A-Wish foundation is to grant the wishes of children with life- threatening medical conditions by enriching the human experience with hope, strength and joy.VISSION STATEMENT: All Australian have the opportunity to share the power of a wish.“A swift mission and transcendent experience is the journey the Make-A- Wish Foundation takes into a childs deepest desire and dream. For truly, to grant a wish is not only to unwrap the gift of a dream, but also to grant inspiration and hope in the midst of their reality”. – Veronica, wish mom
The volunteer branches and supporters host a number of events throughout the year, raising much needed funds for Make-A-Wish Australia. To be eligible to become a Make-A-Wish Australia volunteer you must be 18 years or older. All volunteers are required to pass a National Police Check and, in some states, a Working with Children Check. Each volunteer Branch also conducts an interview and undertakes reference checks as part of the recruitment process.
Make-A-Wish has 58 volunteer branches across the country, creating a nationwide network. Make-A-Wish volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from 18 to 85. Whatever the age and wherever they come from they all come together with the same common goal – to provide magical wishes to children with a life- threatening illness. Their volunteer branches and supporters host a number of events throughout the year, raising much needed funds for Make-A-Wish® Australia. Select your state below to find events in your local area.
The CEO of Make-A-Wish is Vici Funnell.WORK LIFE: Vici Funnell is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Make-A-Wish Foundation Australia. Previously, Vici was the CEO of Scope (Vic) Ltd, formally known as the Spastic Society of Victoria (SSOV). Vici has 25 years experience as a CEO in health and community services, and has currently been the CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation for 1 year. Along with this role, she is also the director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria, an member of the Harvard Club of Australia and also a member of the Box Hill Central Rotary Club. Vici was awarded the inaugural Harvard Club Non-Profit Fellowship to study Non-Profit Management in June 2001. At Harvard Business School Vici was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the community through people with a disability.PRIVATE LIFE: Vici is married to Steve whom they have 2 young adult children, William and Caitlin. Vici and Steve own and operate a boutique vineyard “Hat Rock” on the Bellarine Peninsula, around 20 minutes from Geelong. In the little spare time she has, Vivi enjoys gardening, reading and cooking. Her favourite place to visit is the Scottish Highlands.
By making a regular monthly donation to Make- A-Wish Australia you join an exceptional group of people called Wish Makers. Wish Makers are very important as they continue to create happiness for children with a life-threatening medical condition, by granting their most cherished wishes. The Wish Makers program provides a stable source of income to Make-A- Wish which means they‟re able to better plan for future wishes. Organised Fundraisers by anyone in the community who wants to be involved. They rely on people in the community to donate online or through their “in Celebration” and “Wills and Bequests” programs. They also allow people to become a corporate supporter through sponsorship or by an organizing payroll giving i.e. Volunteering with one of the local branches.
They have offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and our National Office is in Richmond, Melbourne. However, the Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in the US, so there are more current branches located in the US. In 1993, Make-A-Wish Foundation International was officially formed to serve the five countries outside the United States that were already granting wishes. Today, Make-A-Wish Foundation International has affiliates in more than 36 countries on five continents.
How they grant wishes? There are four steps to granting a wish. Each step is designed to create wonderful experience for families and kids. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments and a positive force that helps them overcome their obstacles. A wish experience that helps kids rekindle their belief in themselves and the promise of their future.Step 1: Referral The Foundation relies on medical professionals, parents and children themselves for referrals. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18, and are not part of another foundation are eligible for a wish.Step 2: Medical eligibility The Foundation determines a child‟s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition – i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child‟s life in jeopardy.Step 3: Finding the true wish The Foundation will then send one of their enthusiastic wish teams to learn the child‟s one true wish.Step 4: Creating joy The Foundation‟s wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child‟s creativity. It‟s an incredible experience that enriches the lives of the children and their families.
This is a wish story about a girl called Mia who was diagnosed withLeukaemia. Her one wish was to [at a Dolphin and with the helpof the Make-A-Wish foundation her wish came true.From Mias mum, Renae“On the plane ride home we asked the kids what had been the best partof our seven-day Gold Coast escape and, without hesitation, all threeresponded „The wish‟. Despite the terrible weather that soaked us andturned us blue with cold, the granting of Mia‟s wish was amazing and feltlike closure on the hard times cancer had brought us all. It marked a newstart for our beautiful daughter and the whole family.” Renae, mother ofwish child Mia.Speaking to Renae you would never believe what she, her husband, Nickand their young family have been through in recent years. Her upbeatand positive attitude shines through despite the run of bad luck her closefamily has faced.“It all started with the passing of my aunt to stomach cancer, then a fewweeks later my 16-year-old cousin, Braidy, died of bone cancer.Then, the week before Christmas and just six weeks after Braidy‟spassing, we sat devastated in the same hospital, paralysed by the newsthat our three-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with leukaemia,”remembers Renae.It was hard for this young family to stay positive, particularly for Mia‟solder brother, Tate. He struggled to believe things would be okay afterwatching their close relatives succumb so recently to other forms ofcancer.Mia struggled during her treatment and the only thing that calmed herbefore chemotherapy was to lie in her mother‟s arms and talk aboutseeing dolphins when she was better. Throughout Mia‟s entire course oftreatment, this dream is what helped her. When Make-A-Wish let thefamily know this would actually happen, Renae felt a real shift in thefamily‟s mood.In the week following Mia‟s last chemotherapy session, the family wassent on a seven-day escape to the Gold Coast so that Mia couldexperience her long-cherished wish. “Mia talked about patting andfeeding dolphins as a way of coping with chemotherapy treatment, so itseemed so right that once she finished all that medicine she could takepart in such a magical experience. Our whole family has been with herthroughout it all, so it was great for us all to see her wish come true.This wish meant everything to Mia and our family,” said Renae.Like many families in this situation, Renae and Nick were unaware thatMake-A-Wish was there to help. They hope that by sharing their storyothers will benefit the way they did. Nick said, “The wish helped us all somuch. It gave us a relaxing time to be a family together again, somethingwe missed out on over the last three years. I will never forget how happyour kids were on Mia‟s wish, so thank you Make-A-Wish for helping us toregroup and enjoy time together.”