Starlight Children's Foundation


Who are Starlight Children's Foundation?

Starlight works to improve the experience of hospitalisation and treatment for “seriously ill children, young people and their families”. They have a permanent physical presence in every major paediatric hospital in Australia.

Their ABN is 80931522157. They are a registered charity with the ACNC.

Why do they exist?

Their mission is “to brighten the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children, young people and their families.” They highlight that “in 2013-14, Australian hospitals recorded 1.6 million outpatient appointments and 870,000 inpatient admissions for children and young people. During hospitalisation children and young people often experience fear of painful procedures, separation from friends and family, boredom, a lack of privacy and limited opportunities for socialisation.”

What do they do?

Starlight deliver the following programs:

  • Starlight Express Rooms– A medical free haven within the hospital where sick kids and their families can experience a break from medical treatments and procedures. They are found in every paediatric hospital in Australia. 

  • Captain Starlight– a super hero who comes down from Planet Starlight every day to brighten the lives of sick kids and their families. 

  • Wishgranting– tailored, individual wishes for children and young people that are inclusive of their family. Referrals to the program are made by health professionals. 

  • Livewire In-Hospital– connecting teens and young people experiencing serious illness or disability through creative workshops when they’re in hospital.

  • Starlight TV– a 24/7 television channel in hospital broadcasting daily live shows from the Starlight Express room as well as movies and other content created by Captain Starlight.

  • Rocket Rounds– Captain Starlight reaches out to children unable to leave their beds, in emergency departments and waiting for outpatient appointments or surgery.

  •– connecting teens and young people through a safe online community. 

  • Healthier Futures– a space in remote communities in WA and NT where children and families feel safe and comfortable interacting with clinical services.

How do they earn their money?

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


How do they spend their money?

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


Should I donate to Starlight Children's Foundation?


We believe that is likely that your donation to Starlight will be used as stated, that is, to “brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families”.

We believe that Starlight is trustworthy. They consistently demonstrate that funds are used in pursuit of the mission. Their financial model is clear and they show where donations go. It is also clear who is in charge. Roles are described and performance is monitored. They show how they prevent the misuse of funds.

Starlight also demonstrate they are likely to be effective. It is clear what they do and the benefit they deliver. They present overarching goals broken into strategic themes. They show the activities they delivered and their results from the last financial year. Finally, they show evidence that they evaluate their programs.

However, in order for us to have complete confidence they are using money for its intended purpose, we recommend Starlight verify the following:

  • their approach to evaluating their effectiveness (which programs they evaluate and why).


We have investigated the finances, operations and results of Starlight and present our evaluation in a report that you can download now. This evaluation shows you how your donation is spent, who is running the organisation and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest. It also examines whether the charity can demonstrate that they are delivering meaningful results. Finally, it contains our recommendations for potential donors and the reasoning behind them.

Download our complete evaluation of Starlight below to find out if they're the charity for you.

Review of Starlight Children's Foundation (2019)

Find out whether Starlight Children’s Foundation is the charity for you. In this evaluation we describe what this charity does and why, what you should know about them, how your money is spent, who is running the organisation and whether they deliver results. Last of all, we recommend whether you should donate to them based on the findings of our analysis.

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