“The surgery is the technical bit, but you have the whole child to manage while they’re here... it only works because you’ve got the support of the Foundation, which understands their emotions, engages them with rehabilitation, and all the other stuff that has to keep happening.”

Associate Professor Leo Donnan, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mission: Children First Foundation facilitates life-changing and life-saving surgery and enables access to excellent medical care for disadvantaged children from developing countries.
Values: We are compassionate, respectful, ethical, equitable and courageous.

Children First Foundation was established by like-minded people (largely volunteers and Rotarians) who shared a vision for a world where all children have access to medical and surgical care, regardless of where they were born. 
The Foundation has facilitated life-changing and life-saving surgery for disadvantaged children from developing countries since 1999.
Today, Children First has four programs in place - Miracle Smiles, in-country surgery, the Back Home Support Program (BHSP) and The Today Tomorrow Project. 

Miracle sMiles

Miracle sMiles facilitates surgery and pre- and post-surgical care for disadvantaged children from developing countries who cannot access the surgery they need within their home country.

Children are based at our home-away-from-home, The Retreat. The Retreat house was donated and rebuilt by volunteers, predominantly from Rotary International District 9790, on 42 acres of land donated by a local Rotarian. 

We achieve the best outcomes possible for the children through collaboration with exceptional Australian surgeons and health professionals. Leading hospitals such as St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Cabrini Health, Epworth Hospital, Monash Children’s Hospital, Mulgrave Private Hospital, St John of God Hospital Berwick, The Children’s Hospital Westmead and Adelaide Women’s & Children’s Hospital partner with us to provide outstanding care.

We receive no government funding and rely on the generosity of our donors, corporations, trusts, foundations, and pro bono partners. 
The Foundation has DGR status, and all donations to the Foundation over $2 are fully tax deductible. We are so grateful to our amazing Children First family, who give so generously!

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Read more about the Miracle sMiles program

In-country program

We collaborate with a select number of overseas hospitals to facilitate surgery locally. In these cases, we work extensively with our medical advisors to ensure that the surgical interventions required can take place safely and to a high standard.

Read more about the in-country program

Back Home Support Program (BHSP) 

At Children First Foundation, we are committed to changing the future of the children we help. While our Miracle sMiles and In-country programs focus on life-changing medical treatment, our Back-Home-Support Program centers on the child’s future following successful surgery, treatment and on their goals once they return home.

Read more about the Back Home Support Program

The Today Tomorrow Project

Children First’s capacity-building initiative – The Today Tomorrow Project – aims to address the underlying barriers to children accessing medical care in their own country and will directly impact the child mortality rate.

Read more about The Today Tomorrow Project