Our Work

On average, approximately 750 children aged 0 - 14 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia. That's 14 children per week whose lives are forever changed*. Plus, these statistics do not factor in those who are diagnosed with a rare condition or other serious illness that is not cancer

* Source: Cancer Council Australia 

Here at Little Heroes Foundation, we are dedicated to supporting families with a seriously ill child through their lives after diagnosis. We understand that not every situation is the same, and remain passionate about helping families however we can during their treatment journey.

Since we were founded in 1996, Little Heroes Foundation has continued to innovate and grow, to understand the changing needs of these families, and what technologies are emerging in paediatric care.


Our Projects and Programs

Our projects  and programs are researched and implemented as part of our ongoing vision, to ensure seriously ill children have access to the very best care. Each new venture continues to be inspired by our ‘Little Heroes’.

Over the years, we have contributed over $20 million towards new equipment and facilities at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’ Hospital, which has funded major changes to the hospital, including:

Ronald McDonald Clinic - 1997

When we were first funded, our priority was to help children and families feel as comfortable and supported as possible during of their illness/time spent at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH).

Our first major project, to support children surviving cancer, was the McGuinness McDermott Foundation Children's Clinic. Launching on June 3 1997, this clinic was a $250K refurbishment of the old Ronald McDonald clinic, and delivered specialised cancer treatments for families.

Two MRI Machines – 2003 and 2011

Having an MRI scan can be very daunting for a child, so we decided to have a bit of fun and model our MRI Machine in 2003 after a big yellow submarine, as a way of easing the stress involved in this particular procedure for children. This $1.95 million project was the first of two MRI machines we have funded in our 20 years, with the second machine including an ambient lighting package in September 2011. 


Endoscopic Theatre Suite – 2005

Little Heroes Foundation provided over $1.2 million in funding for a specialised operating theatre to be developed for children’s Endoscopic surgery – otherwise known as “keyhole surgery”. For children undergoing treatments, this type of surgery has significant advantages, including quicker recovery times (due to smaller incisions), lower risk of infections, and results in little to no scarring. The Endoscopic Theatre Suite also enhanced the way in which the Women's and Children's Hospital were able to diagnose, remove and monitor the child's condition for any new tumour growth or re-occurences.

Playdeck and adjoining 'NicNath' Cafe – 2006

The Foundation, having funded significant pieces of equipment and refurbishments, looked at other areas to help support children and families during treatments. At the time, the Women's and Children's Hospital was in need of a new play area for children and families to visit during their stay in hospital. Our Playdeck and adjoining cafe have become a favourite area for children to visit within the hospital when they are able to, and ensure they do not miss out on important play time.

Little Heroes Care Program – 2011

In 2011, we launched ChildFamilyCare, an initiative delivered in conjunction with various like-minded charities, to support the unmet needs of children and their families in their life after diagnosis of cancer and/or a serious illness. Following the success of this program, it was refined and rebranded as Little Heroes Care in 2012.

To this day, Little Heroes Care continues to support seriously ill children and their families based in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

 Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology – 2012

In 2012, Little Heroes Foundation pledged $2 million towards the new Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital. This state-of-the-art clinical treatment facility delivers comprehensive cancer and blood disorder services for infants, children and young people up to 18 years of age. The Centre is named after Dr Michael Rice, a prominent Paediatrician who has been associated with the Women's and Children's Hospital for over 50 years.

Centre for Robotics and Innovation – 2016

As our biggest project so far, the Centre for Robotics and Innovation is a robotic rehabilitation facility at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. It features state-of-the-art robotic equipment, to help rehabilitate muscles and muscle memory. The Centre is designed to help children and adolescents, whose motor skills have been affected by their illness and treatment regimes, get back on their feet. This project is the brainchild of Associate Professor Dr Ray Russo, and is the first of its kind in Australia.




Find out more about some of these major projects and other initiatives by clicking the images below.