HeartKids has grown so much over the last 40 years. From its humble beginnings in WA when a group of parents got together to support each other to a National Federated organisation that aims to support all those impacted by childhood onset heart disease in all States and Territories across Australia.
We would like to acknowledge all the amazing people in our community who have shaped HeartKids to what it is today. All the founding members in each State who worked tirelessly to raise awareness and support other families going through this journey so they would not feel alone.
The future's looking bright as HeartKids evolves from being a predominantly support service for children and their families to supporting all "Heart Kids" as they strive to be the best they can be from infancy to adulthood.
Below are some key milestones of our journey;
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 forming part of this community.
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.
The founding members in Queensland were amazing families, they opened up their homes to other members, converted their garages into temporary accommodation for those living in regional areas, provided listening ears and fund raised to support them.
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.
Read the newsletter from 1987 that commemorated the very first meeting of HeartKids.
HeartKids Victoria Inc. Family Support Group developed from within a support group called Congenital Abnormality Support Group (CASA). Their inaugural meeting was held 23rd May and we celebrated 30 years of HeartKids in Victoria in 2020. Thank you to all the founding members who to this day continue to support HeartKids and all the wonderful families in VIC.
“Take time to smell the roses.” – Proverb.
In 2001, a rose was "donated" to HeartKids called the precious hearts rose and represented so many of our strong and resilient heart kids.
2004 was a busy year at HeartKids with Victoria hosting the first Interstate Teen Camp, the inaugural National conference and WA branch celebrating 25 Years with the ever present Bernard Bear.
These logos represented all HeartKids States & Territories as they came together at the First National Conference in 2004 with Heart Kids NZ joining the conference
A big year as HeartKids Australia was launched at the National Conference in Sydney. The current logo was unveiled and all States agreed to work as a national body.
New Ambassador program launched at the Gala Morning Tea.
The inaugural Sweetheart Day was held on the 14th February. HeartKids announced 7 research projects to be funded by the Grants-in-Aid program.
HeartKids Australia became a federated model with all States and Territories now under one organisation.
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.