About Us

Our History

HeartKids started over 40 years ago, when a small group of parents in WA came together to support each other through their children facing CoHD. In those 40 years HeartKids has proudly stood side by side with families on their CoHD journeys.

The Community

HeartKids would like to acknowledge all the amazing people in our community who have shaped us into what we are today. Thank you to all the founding members in each state who worked tirelessly to raise vital awareness and support other families going through this journey so they would not feel alone.

The future continues to look brighter as HeartKids evolves from being a predominantly support service for children and their families, to supporting all Australians impacted to overcoming the challenges of CoHD and seeing more lives well lived.

Our Journey

  • 1977

    It all started in Perth, WA when Lin Quinlivan got together with other Heart Mums following the birth of her CHD daughter in 1977. The first formal HeartKids committee was created in 1979. This committee, and those early general members, all contributed along with our other state founding members to the development of what is now a national organisation with thousands of families and individuals impacted by CoHD.

  • 1984

    The Heart to Heart Cardiac Support Group was formed in Queensland. The origins of the name may surprise you - To combat the long hours spent by their child’s bed in hospital, parents were given books to read by the nurses and in 1984 the Mills and Boon novels were the book of choice. And for those truly dedicated to the Mills and Boon series you could join their Book club. That book club was named the Heart to Heart Club and that is how the Heart to Heart Cardiac Support Group was named.

  • 1987

    The very first meeting of HeartKids SA took place. We found an old newsletter commemorating the occasion with some objectives that still hold true to this day. Thank you to the South Australian Founding Members for all that you did then and now.

  • 1990

    HeartKids Victoria Inc. Family Support Group developed from a support group called Congenital Abnormality Support Group (CASG). Thank you to all the founding members who to this day continue to support HeartKids and all the wonderful families in VIC.

  • 2004

    2004 was a busy year at HeartKids with Victoria hosting the first Interstate Teen Camp. We also had the first National Conference, with all State groups and HeartKids NZ coming together for the first time.

  • 2006

    HeartKids Australia was launched at the National Conference in Sydney and all State groups agreed to work as a national body.

  • 2009

    New Ambassador program launched at the Gala Morning Tea.

  • 2014

    The inaugural Sweetheart Day was held on the 14th February. HeartKids announced seven research projects to be funded by the Grants-in-Aid program

  • 2016

    HeartKids Australia became a federated model with all States and Territories now under one organisation.

  • 2020

    A big year for HeartKids as an organisation and the entire HeartKids community as the way we support our community had to change due to COVID-19. Virtual catch-ups became the new norm, phone and email support took over from the face-to-face support and for the first time since inception we were unable to go into the hospitals to provide families with support and assistance. We all came together as a community and have grown as an organisation and community.

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