RCH Foundation News : July 2016

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Donna Eade, Clinical Nurse Consultant for The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Gender Service, is dedicated to providing the best care to gender diverse and transgender patients at the hospital. Thanks to the RCH Auxiliaries, she’s doing that and more.

Every year, the RCH Auxiliaries host the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship Luncheon to raise funds for a $50,000 scholarship which is awarded to an exceptional nurse at the hospital. Donna is the current recipient and will use the funds to explore what other child and adolescent transgender healthcare services are doing to produce the best outcomes for their patients.

“It’s an absolute privilege to receive this generous scholarship. Nurses don’t often get opportunities like this, so it is incredibly empowering to be recognised and supported in developing my nursing role.”


Happy 25th to RCH Music Therapy!

Since current Play and Music Therapy Manager Beth Dun was appointed as the RCH’s first music therapist in 1991 (pictured above), the service has been supporting children and young people to cope with their hospital experiences. The program is primarily funded by donations to the RCH Foundation.

There are now six music therapists working across the hospital, supporting children who are being treated in the Children’s Cancer Centre, Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Adolescent Unit, Rehabilitation and Neuroscience, Koala Cardiac Ward, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Palliative Care, and the Banksia Mental Health Ward. Music therapy helps decrease anxiety and stress, reduce pain perception, support relaxation and assist in normal child development.

“Music Therapy was recognised early on as an intervention that could improve patients and families experiences of hospital,” Beth said. “We knew there was more to it, and as time went on, with more experience and evidence, we have been able to articulate more clearly the specific benefits.”

To learn more about RCH Music Therapy, visit their website.


The RCH Chronic Illness Peer Support (ChIPS) program is a place for some of our sickest young people to share experiences and engage in activities that might otherwise be difficult.

Their latest initiative is ChIPS Tunes, which brings together young people with a love of music, successfully engaging patients who don’t typically attend other ChIPS programs. Many participants have never played a musical instrument before and ChIPS Tunes gives them a chance to learn something new.

The first term of ChIPS Tunes takes on more of a jam session-vibe, allowing participants to get comfortable with instruments and each other. In the second term, song writing begins in earnest and culminates with an EP of songs recorded by ChIPPERS at Studio 52. The latest recording, aptly titled Chipstunes, includes a wide array of songs, from the soulful Give and Take to the island-style Coconut Crab.

The program was founded by music therapist and ChIPS Senior Clinician Meagan Hunt, and is co-facilitated by ChIPS Peer Leader Tyrone Kelly, a talented guitarist who started playing thanks to RCH Music Therapy.

This amazing program is only possible thanks to the generosity of people like you. ChIPS is 100% philanthropically funded and is making a life-changing difference to young people across Victoria affected by chronic illness.


This July put your roast dinner to good use and join The Big Roast to fundraise for The Royal Children's Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust. All you need is a cosy venue, a yummy roast dinner, as well as hungry and charitable dinner guests! For more information on The Big Roast, visit their fundraising page.

Fundraise and fun-run around Melbourne to help the hospital! The annual Great Amazing Race will have you deciphering clues and solving puzzles as you (re)discover the city and complete activities to finish the race. To learn more and register, click here.

Make the most of your morning tea by making it a Cuppa for Kids. Invite your loved ones or colleagues to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, a few treats and make a donation to the RCH Foundation. A gold coin donation can go a long way to supporting great care for sick kids. For more info on Cuppa for Kids, click here.