Country Hope Logo

The Country Hope Logo is based on the needs of Country children, the importance of Family, and on bringing Brightness and Hope to the lives of the little children who need it most. “Nobody does what we do”.

Our History

With the blessing and support of Vera Entwistle and the realisation of the significant effects of childhood cancer, such as a child’s ability to cope emotionally and mentally with their illness and their chances of survival, an annual children’s camp was established. The idea of the camp was to provide the diagnosed children with something to look forward to, and to look back on when going through often invasive and drawn out treatments. Very quickly the benefits of this special time away became evident.  Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and the excitement shared in anticipation of meeting again with their new found friends and carers at the next camp contributed to extraordinarily positive impact the camp had on the lives of the children.  The first camps catered for 30 to 40 children. Today the Country Hope annual children’s holiday camp, caters for up to 100 children who have been diagnosed with cancer of other life threatening illnesses, their siblings plus carers, 2 Doctors, 6 nurses and volunteers each year.

Although the camps undoubtedly achieved great success in increasing a child’s ability to cope with, and recover from their illness, it was quickly identified that an annual camp was simply not enough. It came to be obvious that country families had so many more pressures and additional needs when dealing with such life altering events compared to families residing nearer to the major paediatric hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne. 

In 2003 as a result of a great lack of available practical and financial assistance, with a generous initial contribution made by Mr Brian and Mrs Joy Kahlefeldt of $20,000 Country Hope was formed. 

Country Hope’s aim was to adequately address the very critical and specific needs of Country children who had been diagnosed with cancer, and their families as and when their needs occurred.

Country Hope began with supporting 30 families. Today we assist over 155 children and their families in the Riverina, Murray regions, and now have family support centres in Wagga Wagga and Albury, and an office in Griffith.

Country Hope was incorporated in 2003 and a board of management formed which included Alan Lean as chairman, Babs Donaldson, Yvonne Braid, Ged Madden, Steve Dwyer, Rod Dunlop and Peter Walsh (Dec.), Dr Lee Jeffery and Kirstie Cole who were the inaugural members.  Country Hope Inc. was changed in 2006 to Country Hope Limited (by guarantee.)

This then required a directorship and a Board of Directors was elected. John Studdert was elected Chairman/CEO, four of the founding members remained on the board; Bab’s Donaldson OAM, Yvonne Braid, Rod Dunlop and Steve Dwyer. 2016 saw the retirement of three of our founding members; Rod Dunlop, Steve Dwyer and Babs Donaldson OAM. We wish them well.

In 2006 other life threatening illnesses was introduced to our original charter out of necessity, hence today we say..

“Caring for children diagnosed with cancer and other life threatening illnesses”