Country Hope is grateful for all the support received from our patrons who dedicate time to help bring some excitement into the lives of all the country children diagnosed with cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

Patrons of Country Hope include:


Brian Kahlefeldt and his wife Joy have provided ongoing support to Country Hope since its inception in 2003. 

Brian is the author of 90 Minutes to Success.   Brian generously donates proceeds  from the sale of his book toward supporting the children and families of Country Hope.

Brian is qualified in accountancy, law, securities and real estate and he currently holds practising certificates to practice as a Chartered Accountant and as a Barrister. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of CPA Australia, a member of the New South Wales Bar Association and a member of the Commonwealth Association of Lawyers. He donates the total proceeds he receives from his book “90 Minutes to Success” to various charities.

A humanitarian and community-minded man with a vision for the big picture, Brian Kahlefeldt was a NSW Finalist for the Senior Australian of the Year 2004, is an Australia Day Ambassador and in 2004 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to international relations through humanitarian endeavours in Sri Lanka and to the community through support for health care and other organisations, particularly in the Riverina area.


Vera Entwistle is an inspiration and proud patron of Country Hope. Sharing lessons of courage, hope and optimism, Vera speaks to audiences about her passion for and the importance of supporting children who are diagnosed with cancer and their families. A dynamic speaker, Vera inspires audiences to think about their quality of life and the choices they make in life.

Vera was born in England and emigrated to the USA with her husband Brian where they adopted a son, Aaron. While in the USA Vera worked her way up through the company ranks, eventually holding the position as Director of Personnel for a company that hired over 300 women.

Vera and her family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1983 where she founded a charity organisation that provided camps to children diagnosed with cancer  two weeks after moving into her Sydney home. She served as CEO for 17 years, establishing 14 camp locations around Australia and taking the program into 17 countries worldwide.

Over the years, the story of her work has been the subject of television documentaries and magazine articles. The story of the personal tragedy which propelled her to change the direction of her life is one of determination and inspiration.

Vera was awarded the Order of Australia for her work with children with cancer in 1995, was named International Woman of the Year by Optimist International Organisation in Canada in 1999. She was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.

Vera's motto is that "no-one can do much about the quantity of anyone else's life, but everyone can do something about the quality."

Rod Dunlop

Rod and his family reside locally to Wagga Wagga and run a successful Agricultural Spraying Business.  

As a member of the Board of Directors, it was through his vision that of a three other existing founding members that Country Hope was established in 2003. 

Babs Donaldson

Mrs Donaldson holds the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia from the Commonwealth.  Best known as the driving force behind children’s charity Country Hope, Mrs Donaldson also assists 10 other charities including Can Assist, the Cancer Council, Rotary, Inner Wheel, Riding for the Disabled and the Griffith Heart Support Group. Mrs Donaldson joins just 900 other Australians on the 2014 Honours List, recognised for their dedication and achievements to their communities and the nation.

Though she’s always been community-minded, Mrs Donaldson’s passion for charity was sparked during a Rotary mission to Kathmandu in 1994, where she volunteered as a dental nurse.

Since 2003 Mrs Donaldson has thrown herself whole-heartedly into Country Hope – of which she is a founding member – because she wanted to do all that she could to help sick children.


Steve Dwyer


Born in Melbourne 18/3/1944. As a young child I moved to Sydney with my family. After leaving school I commenced a pharmacy course at Sydney University, but switched to the study of law. I was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in May 1969. Shortly after I moved to Wagga Wagga where I became a Partner in the law firm of Walsh and Blair. I specialised in the practice of business and revenue law, and in so doing took up honorary positions in a number of local Charities.  I was informed by a dear friend, the late Peter Walsh, that a number of like-minded people were in the process of establishing a charity (Country Hope) for the welfare of children suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Peter asked that I join the board of the fledgling charity and I readily agreed.  My immediate role was to establish a governing body of a charitable trust. Once established I remained a director of the governing body composed of wonderfully altruistic people. I retired as a director in 2016. It was a privilege to work with such people and also with a highly motivated and dedicated staff. Their continued energy and devotion to Country Hope was and remains exemplary.