Monthly Archives: August 2019

Who caught the footy fever? – Footy Fever Debate 2019

A contingent of high-profile football personalities engaged in a humorous debate which raised more than $200,000 to care for families that have a child with a life-threatening condition.

Hosted by Channel Seven’s Hamish McLachlan at the Atlantic in Docklands, the Very Special Kids Footy Fever Debate tackled the topic ‘footy was tougher in the 80s’.

The team debating for the affirmative were former Footscray and Brisbane Bears player Brad Hardie and former St Kilda player Danny Frawley. Debating for the negative were former Geelong player Cameron Ling and sports journalist Jon Anderson, and things got fiery.

Event attendees were treated to a fabulous lunch and entertained by a energetic live auction before the debate kicked off.


Both teams put forward a great argument, and when the crowd couldn’t even decide who to award the winner, the decision came down to a coin toss. In the end, the affirmative team was crowned the winner.

The Footy Fever Debate is the signature event of the Very Special Kids Piggy Bank Appeal.

Special thanks to our presenting partners 7News and Atlantic Group and our supporting partners Buller Wines, 3AW, Herald Sun and Helping Hand Group. We’re also so grateful to Melbourne Football Club, Helping Hand Group, Qantas, 7News, Crown Metropol, Teg Dainty, 3AW and Peter Schafer of PRI Pty Ltd, for donating such wonderful live auction items.

Thank you also to our special guests Kristy & Damian Whitnell, parents supported by Very Special Kids, for speaking so beautifully about their experience. And one final thank you to entertainers Russell Robertson & Phil Ceberano for providing their incredible musical talents.

Click here to see all photos from the event. Thanks to Gavin Blue for capturing the event so well.


Hospice soft play area

Collaboration between Very Special Kids Child Life Therapist Shari and Physiotherapist Belinda has resulted in an exciting, newly developed space consisting of soft play equipment for children to use during their respite stays in the hospice.

The soft play is located in the play area within the main lounge. It includes padded play equipment such as steps, a slide and a tunnel that the children have had lots of fun using. The new equipment was generously funded by The Ashwood-Mt Waverley Lions Club.

This area has the benefit of allowing children to play independently; to explore a safe space under the supervision of staff. Either on their own or with other children. Children have also been able to develop and practice their gross motor skills on the soft play equipment. Physiotherapy sessions can also be carried out in the soft play area with children. Belinda is able to assess their mobility and develop their skills whilst still incorporating play and having lots of fun!