Mater Children’s Hospital Brisbane

In 2014 Mater Children’s Hospital became The new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital which was also combined with Brisbane’s Royal Children’s Hospital. The new Hospital was set to offer the best facilities and services for high-level paediatric care in Queensland.  In 2018 the Hospital changed its name again to Queensland Children’s Hospital, during all of the changes, we continued our support by funding a Social Worker, furthermore, these are some of our achievements;

Mater Children’s Hospital Brisbane since 2000:

  • 2000 – Cadd Pumps, blood pressure machine, recliner chairs and part sponsor of the Home Care Program.

Your generous support is helping us improve the specialist care and quality of life for our children and our families, in their courageous struggle against devastating illness such as serious blood disorders and childhood cancers.

On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy & the Directors of the Mater Hospital’s Trust we thank you for your support as true friends of the Mater and look forward to our continuing partnership. Nigel Harris, Executive Director Mater Hospital’s trust, 2000


  • 2001 – Lighting equipment.
  • 2003 – Music Therapy Teacher.
  • 2004 – Funding the new ‘Complete Care Program’ at the Haematology and Oncology Ward in October,  $50,000.
  • 2006 – Funding the ‘Complete Care Program’ at the Haematology and Oncology Ward in February,  $66,796.00

Mater Children’s Hospital - Funding presentation

$2004 – $50,000 cheque presentation to The Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane.For the ‘Kids with Cancer Foundation Complete Care Program’Left to right, in the ‘Art Therapy Room’: Jackson, The Paediatric Haematology / Oncology Department’s Linda Ewing, Nurse Manager and Dr. Ram Suppiah (Director) Daniel, Prof. Ross Pinkerton, Director of Cancer Services, Peter Little, Kids with Cancer’s Queensland Fundraising Manager.

On behalf of Nigel Harris, Executive Director of the Mater Foundation and Linda Ewing and the team at Mater Children’s Hospital 8 East Unit, I thank you for the wonderful gift to again fund the ‘Kids with Cancer Foundation Complete Care Program’ for the next 12 months.


Complete Care Program

Sponsored by the ‘Kids with Cancer Foundation’ Brisbane Mater Children’s Hospital

The Complete Care Program at the Mater Children’s Hospital aims at providing complete care for the child with cancer and his/her siblings.  The program consists of a variety of activities and programs.  Activities within the program are constantly changing and being updated, however some examples may include:

Pre-School Group – Playsense: The “Playsense” program is aimed at children and siblings between the ages of 3 – 5 years.  This program is facilitated by the occupational therapist, with input from the art therapist, school teacher and music therapist.  Specifically, this program seeks to provide developmentally appropriate and fun experiences for those children who are unable to attend day-care/preschool due to hospitalisation, compromised immune system or other family stressors.  Age appropriate music, stories, and play are the main activities of this program.

September 2005:

The pre-school “Playsense” group has been running weekly on Monday mornings since receiving funding from ‘Kids with Cancer Foundation’.  This group has been well attended by both inpatients and outpatients, with kids often accompanied by parents and siblings.  The group has received a great deal of positive and encouraging feedback from both children and their families, regarding the activities.

Specific aims of the group we feel we have achieved include:

  • Opportunity for socialisation and peer support
  • Chance to practice and enhance age appropriate development skills through the use of fine-motor, sensory, visual-motor and musical activities
  • Opportunity for children to express themselves through music and creativity
  • Enabled children to access fun, playful and motivating activities to balance effects of hospitalisation and chronic illness.

September 2005:

The oncology art therapy group continues to offer a valuable service to children on the oncology ward, and has been running weekly on Tuesday’s.  This is theatre day in oncology, and the group gives the children the opportunity to focus on fun activities to distract from the pre-theatre routine (eg. fasting).  The group also gives children an opportunity to engage in age-appropriate art activities.  These art projects, which can be completed in a short time, result either in an item to be taken home, or a group project which can be displayed within the ward.  The group gives children a positive reason to leave their rooms and to socialise with other patients within the context of a structured activity.  There are also opportunities for parents to participate and engage in a playful activity with their child.  Each group begins with a ‘warm-up’ activity or game, which encourages social interaction and group cohesion.

Late Effects Program:

This program at the Mater Children’s Hospital, is aimed at providing ongoing monitoring and support of children who have been treated with cancer in an attempt to identify both medical and psychosocial issues which may impact on their long term future.  This program is facilitated by a nurse.  Participants are assessed by a nurse; medical issues are then referred on to a medical officer, whereas psychosocial issues such as schooling difficulties are referred to a psychologist or other appropriate support service.

Music Therapy Program:

The general music therapy program at the Mater Children’s Hospital, aims at assisting children and their siblings adjust to the cancer experience through the use of music.

Due to an increase in numbers of primary school-aged patients (aged 5 – 11 years), the body awareness and relaxation group was started to meet the emerging needs of this age group. This group is facilitated by the music therapist and occupational therapist and runs weekly. The purpose of the group is to increase patients’ understanding of their bodies and to help patients understand links between physical feelings and emotions. These goals are achieved through various musical play, singing and movement activities. Patients are also taught a range of relaxation techniques to assist children in developing appropriate coping strategies for anxiety-provoking situations.

Teenage Program:

The teenage program at the Mater Children’s Hospital, is aimed at supporting teenagers diagnosed with cancer.  This program is facilitated by the occupational therapists, with the support from the social worker, school teacher and music therapist.  The teenagers are encouraged to explore and express their feelings through the use a variety of different mediums, including storytelling, writing songs etc, creating power point presentations.  This program also aims to facilitate interactions with existing support services such as Seize the Day and Canteen who aim to provide support to teenagers and their siblings through the development of supportive, friendships with peers who are undergoing similar experiences.

Siblings Program: 

This program at the Mater Children’s Hospital, aims at providing emotional support to children who have a sibling affected by cancer.  This program includes individual sessions with children and sibling days which are held during school holidays, approximately four days are held throughout the year.  The Sibling’s Day program consists of a variety of activities where children visit areas within the hospital, meet hospital staff and have the opportunity to ask questions about cancer.  This program also provides an opportunity for children to share experiences and issues about life as a sibling of a child with cancer.  This program is facilitated by the occupational therapist, in conjunction with the schoolteacher and the social worker.  The music therapist, social worker and a variety of other staff members are involved in this program

Band Program: 

The rock band program is designed for and aimed at adolescent patients and their siblings.  This program is designed to foster opportunities for peer interaction within a safe context and acknowledges that adolescents are able to offer each-other a unique and valuable form of support.  Rehearsals are held each school holidays and as with all music therapy programs, no musical experience is necessary.  This program is facilitated by the music therapist.

CD Program: 

The CD program is an innovative program that aims to provide children with an opportunity to interact with peers of a similar age and simultaneously fosters the development of self esteem.  Recognising that siblings of these children often feel “left out”.  They are encouraged to participate in this age-appropriate program.  The CD program begins with a series of group rehearsals, progresses to the recording of the CD and culminates in a launch of the CD.  The program is unique in that it results in the production of an object that can be retained as evidence of a positive hospital experience.  This program is facilitated by the music therapist, who is intending to involve as many parents and their families  as possible.

The Medical and Procedural Treatment Program: 

This program is aimed at all children who are receiving treatment, this program seeks to assist children to cope with their disease and treatment by providing developmentally appropriate medical play.  Preparation for medical procedures includes de-sensitisation to medical equipment, practicing medical procedures and visits to other medical departments within the hospital where children may need to visit, e.g. the operating room, adheres  unit and the radiology department.  Another component of this program is the production of educational videos/DVD’s which are used to prepare children for procedures.  This program is facilitated by the occupational therapist.

Thanks: Our greatest thanks goes to the Kids with Cancer Foundation for funding the new Complete Care Program at the Haematology and Oncology Ward (8 East) of the Mater Children’s Hospital.  We are very excited about this program and the many changes it will bring to the lives of the children who visit the ward.

The children’s cancer ward at the Mater has now moved to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane so we do not expect to receive any more requests for assistance from the Mater.