Our History

  • 2023

    $2.9 million raised at The Million Dollar Lunch

    The Million Dollar Lunch reaches new heights, raising a record $2.9 million for children’s cancer.

  • Boost for the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC)

    $35 million committed to the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) in the State Government Budget – to be matched by an additional $10 million from the Foundation -forming a $45 million investment package to be rolled out over five years.

  • A ground-breaking resource for researchers worldwide

    Following over seven years of support and an investment of over $7 million from the Foundation, the Hudson Institute of Medical Research creates the Childhood Cancer Model Atlas, a unique open-source resource available to cancer researchers globally.

  • 2022

    A record $2.7 million raised at The Million Dollar Lunch

    Our cornerstone event raises a record-breaking amount.

  • Online resource for families to find and access services

    The Foundation along with the Children’s Cancer Family Support Alliance, a group of charities across Victoria and Tasmania, launches the first online directory of support services available to Australian families impacted by childhood cancer.

  • 2021

    The Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) is created

    The Foundation partners with The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Monash Children’s Hospital (MCH), Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), Monash University, University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) to create world-class medical research and innovation in Victoria.

  • Supporting the future of patient care

    The Foundation’s newest project supports the professional development of oncology nurses and allied staff at Monash Children’s Hospital.

  • The Million Dollar Lunch once again goes digital

    The challenges of the pandemic once again forced the cancellation of our primary fundraising event. Notwithstanding this our supporters came out digitally for our second MDL digital giving day raising over $770,000.

  • 2020

    Supporting Researchers and Health workers through COVID

    Despite the chaos and uncertainty that the pandemic created for all Australian’s the Foundation continued to honour all its $11.4 million of funding commitments to researchers and health workers. Our ability to provide support and certainty in this time helped mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on the country’s childhood cancer workforce.

  • The Million Dollar Lunch goes digital raising

    Faced with rolling lockdowns The Million Dollar Lunch committee pivots to the first MDL Giving Day within a matter of weeks raising over $600,000.

  • 2019

    Creation of a first ever perpetual Chair for Childhood Cancer at Melbourne University

    The Foundation announced the establishment of the Children’s Cancer Foundation Chair at Melbourne University. A global search is underway for an eminent clinician/researcher to occupy that position.

  • 2018

    The Million Dollar Lunch raises $2.5 million

    A record-breaking result in the event’s 14-year history.

  • Children's Cancer Foundation Research Laboratory opens

    Launched at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research the CCF Research Laboratory provided much needed resources to assist in the scaling up of a specialist workforce, focusing on a range of research and clinical initiatives. This investment helped with the creation of the Childhood Cancer Model Atlas, which received international recognition in 2023 as a revolutionary research enabling tool.

  • 2017

    Largest program of funding in 25-year history

    The Foundation commits $8,458,796 across 25 projects from 2017 through to 2023.

  • 15 years funding at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

    Together with My Room, funding included ground-breaking research projects and establishment of the biobanking unit.

  • The Million Dollar Lunch raises the big top

    Held under the big top at the Palladium at Crown, more than $2.1 million is raised.

  • 2016

    Australian first paediatric immunotherapy trial

    The Foundation invests in an Australian first immunotherapy clinical trial that successfully uses a child’s own genetically engineered immune cells to attack cancer cells.

  • Family Resource Coordinator 10-year anniversary

    Merridy Justice celebrates 10 years as Family Resource Coordinator at the Children’s Cancer Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). The Foundation has funded this role at RCH and Monash Children’s Hospital since 2007.

  • 2015

    $4.5 million investment in psych-oncology

    The Foundation and My Room fund the psych-oncology program at The Royal Children’s Hospital and later at Monash Children’s Hospital. The Foundation demonstrated the importance of psych-oncology, which is now funded by the hospital.

  • A new look for a brighter future

    Rebranded externally as the Children’s Cancer Foundation thanks to Three’s A Crowd.

  • 2014

    Patron appointed

    Gillon McLachlan, AFL Chief Executive appointed Patron of the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

  • The Million Dollar Lunch celebrates 10 years

    Our cornerstone event commemorates its 10th birthday, raising $11.3 million since 2005.

  • 2012

    The Children’s Cancer Foundation is born

    KOALA Foundation and Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation merge in June 2012 to form the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

  • 2008

    Clinical trial funding commences

    The Foundation prioritises clinical trial resourcing, funding three staff at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

  • 2006

    $3.6 million invested in Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (RCH) upgrades

    These upgrades included construction and fit out of the unit, purchase of essential equipment for the Cord Blood Bank (which supplies stem cells needed for BMT procedures) and salaries for 7 core clinical staff from 2006-2013.

  • Renovated cancer ward officially opened

    The new Children’s Cancer Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital is opened by Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks MP and Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott MP. The vision and determination of all volunteers involved in the capital campaign, during 2002-2004, resulted in the hospital facilities being transformed into the benchmark for paediatric cancer care and clinical research in Australia.

  • 2005

    The Million Dollar Lunch is launched

    “I have set out to achieve what some believe is impossible. I am on a mission to unite the movers and shakers of our entertainment industry with the captains of big business and the country’s leading entrepreneurs. The idea? The greatest fundraising lunch in the country.” Tony McGinn OAM.

  • 2004

    KOALA Foundation established

    Tony McGinn OAM, Chairman of KOALA Group, establishes KOALA Foundation.

  • 2002

    $23 million raised to build cancer ward and research laboratory

    Peter Sidwell, raise $23 million to reconstruct the cancer ward at The Royal Children’s Hospital and build linked research facilities which later opened in September 2004.

  • 1998

    Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation (CCCF) established

    Parents of children undergoing treatment at The Royal Children’s Hospital establish the Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation with founding members Doug and Ann Rathbone, Kevin Martin, Professor Peter Smith (then Director of the Children’s Cancer Centre at RCH), Professor Henry Ekert (then Director of the Children’s Cancer Centre at RCH), Sylvia Miller and Peter Sidwell. With Mary McGowan OAM and James Roche joining shortly after.

  • 1992

    KOALA Group established

    Parents of children undergoing treatment at Monash Children’s Hospital established a support group to help each other through treatment, the KOALA (Kids Oncology and Leukaemia Action) Group.

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