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Bringing compassion and ingenuity to families who need it most

“We were amazed that Childhood Cancer Support not only offered us accommodation, but we were able to walk into the fully furnished unit and make it our own without any cost – a home away from home.” – The Steer Family

Factors such as education disadvantages, employment opportunities and geographical barriers can exacerbate health disparities for rural Australians. These remarkable organisations are putting in the hard work to aid children and their families.


An inclusive redevelopment with a mission


For almost a century Royal Far West has been innovating to help children from rural and remote areas – supporting their developmental, mental and behavioural health to ensure they reach their full potential. This innovation is not slowing.


Based at its Centre for Country Kids in Manly, New South Wales, it offers community outreach but also help via telecare.


It has more than 140 paediatric clinicians - including psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and other allied health professionals. They offer health, education and disability services for country children aged under 12.


The charity was founded by Rev. Stanley Drummond in 1924.


Image description: 1935 First travelling Dental Clinic providing comprehensive dental service to country children in NSW.

Royal Far West’s importance has grown over the years and it has adapted to meet changing needs. A major impact has been the increase in natural disasters impacting young people. But the organisation has been up to the challenge.


Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Emery says “over the last decade the number of country children we have supported has grown tenfold”.


“The rapid increase in the frequency and impact of natural disasters compounds the already significant inequity and disadvantage for country children,” Emery says.


The charity also shows ingenuity in adapting their services and utilises their Manly beachfront property to host children and their parents for assessment and diagnosis of complex health concerns.


They teamed up with world-class architects to create a visionary community-focused development. The redevelopment is not just about sustainability; it's about gifting healthcare to those who need it most.


“We create enhanced facilities for our children and families while also providing premium residential apartments, flexible workspaces and new experiences for the public to enjoy along Manly’s famous beachfront,” Emery says.


The new development will “futureproof” the sustainability of Royal Far West and its ability to continue gifting healthcare to those most in need. 

Royal Far West Redevelopment in Manly

We were pleased to welcome Royal Far West as a new customer to ANZ to support their Aurora project in Manly which will help it continue delivering services to country children for the next 100 years. The collaboration with Royal Far West aligns with ANZ’s purpose and we continue to explore other ways to assist the organisation.


More than a warm bed, a community


In the heart of the nation’s sunshine state Queensland, another exceptional organization, Childhood Cancer Support is sowing the seeds of change.


Formed in 1975 by a group of passionate parents whose children were battling leukemia, Childhood Cancer Support was driven by recognition of the unique needs of families facing these daunting diagnoses.


With an unwavering focus on the entire family, Childhood Cancer Support provides a six-house facility comprising 17 fully self-contained units, offering parents vital long-term accommodation.


In addition, the organisation provides mental health and counselling supports, patient transport services to and from the Queensland Children’s Hospital, plus recreational, social and food supports.


“For nearly 50 years, Childhood Cancer Support has been at the forefront of family centred support for the paediatric oncology community in Queensland and Northern NSW. Our objective is to provide stability to the lives of children diagnosed with cancer and their families,” says General Manager Helen Crew.


Childhood Cancer Support recently acquired additional houses near the Queensland Children’s Hospital to cater to the high demand. They are creatively transforming these houses into 15 units, ensuring families are closer to the care their children need most.


Their ingenuity doesn't end there. Crew secured an ANZ Community Grant, which aims to address the high costs of traveling in a sustainable manner.


Sustainability with Heart


The grant will establish composting and recycling stations, rainwater tanks and edible gardens. Beyond the environmental benefits, this initiative will empower paediatric oncology families to connect with nature, fostering improved social and mental well-being.


From gardening to harvesting plants, the project offers a nurturing space for families to interact, communicate and find solace amidst their challenges. Moreover, the in-house rainwater tanks will ensure sustainable irrigation for the accommodation, minimizing water usage and leaving a positive impact on the environment.


The human stories communicate the power of Childhood Cancer Support. When Cairns-based Rick and Stacey Steer’s son, Hudson, faced a medical crisis in Townsville, the charity offered long-term accommodation while Hudson received treatment in Brisbane.


The Steer family was deeply moved by the fully furnished unit that provided comfort and solace for more than a year.


“We were amazed that Childhood Cancer Support not only offered us accommodation, but we were able to walk into the fully furnished unit and make it our own without any cost – a home away from home.”


“This had a tremendous impact upon us – it allowed us to focus our energy on supporting Hudson and relieved us of the pressure that would have otherwise been felt trying to rent accommodation in Brisbane, whilst also paying a mortgage in Cairns.”

Investing in our community


This year both organisations received ANZ staff as part of the ANZ volunteer program.

Employees have at least one day of paid volunteer leave per year to make a positive difference in their communities and donated more than 52,440 hours to community organisations last year.

The Steer family’s story tells of the importance of such services better than any statistics could. Assisting the two charities to do their work demonstrates why ANZ’s Community Grants matter.


In the ever-changing landscape of regional Australia, these organizations stand strong, stirring the hearts of communities and offering hope for a healthier future.


Jo Scotney is General Manager, Property and Health at ANZ Institutional

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