Virgin Australia helps Starlight Wish grant 13,000th wish to sick children

Virgin Australia helps Starlight Wish grant 13,000th wish to sick children
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Starlight Children’s Foundation and Virgin Australia transformed the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island, into “Happiness Island” to celebrate their monumental 13,000th Starlight Wish milestone.

    To mark the occasion, Starlight, Virgin Australia and Hamilton Island brought together 10 sick kids and their families from across Australia for an unforgettable VIP weekend full of fun, laughter and special memories in one of Australia’s most sought-after holiday destinations.

    To kick off the festivities, families were welcomed into the Virgin Australia lounge by Starlight Ambassadors, media personality Darryl Brohman and singer-songwriter Timomatic, before taking a fun-filled flight up to the picturesque Hamilton Island, where they were warmly welcomed by the kids of Hamilton Island Community School.

    The celebrations continued with an official welcome dinner emceed by TV personality, Matty J, a surprise intimate performance from Kita Alexander and a spectacular fireworks display.

    Throughout the weekend the Hamilton Island Community provided the kids and families with unforgettable experiences, including a thrilling Whitehaven cruise, a bowling and pizza night, and a sunny beach BBQ!

    Enjoying the festivities will be Starlight Wish recipients:

    •  9y/o  Tyson from Sydney with chronic granulomatous disease

    •  9y/o  Xavier from Brisbane who is in remission from stage 3 bladder cancer

    • 11y/o Talan from Cairns who has rare perthes disease

    • 11y/o Abigail from Adelaide with a congenital heart defect

    • 12y/o Landon from Sydney who has chronic kidney disease

    • 14y/o Lorelei from Southern Highlands NSW who had a life-saving kidney transplant

    • 15y/o Jack from Sydney who was diagnosed with brain cancer

    • 21y/o Xander from Hobart who has rare genetic disorder joubert syndrome

    • 21y/o Chyma from Mt Isa who has rheumatic fever

    Starlight Wish. (Supplied)

    Also receiving her wish for the very first time, was 15y/o Lara from Canberra, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Lara wished for a relaxing family holiday to Hamilton Island – which was granted at “Happiness Island” as Starlight’s official 13,000th Wish!

    When sick kids’ worlds are filled with hospital and treatment, a Starlight Wish is an incredible gift of happiness, giving sick kids something fun to look forward to and creating new memories to treasure forever.

    “At Starlight we recognise being sick shouldn’t mean missing out on the happiness of childhood,” CEO, Starlight, Louise Baxter, said.

    “Happiness is one of the strongest determinants to how we perform in education, employment and long-term healthy life behaviours.”

    “For 35 years, Starlight has been granting children their life-changing Starlight Wish.

    “Since Virgin Australia came on-board, we have seen these important moments of happiness and connection truly soar – taking children and their families on holidays they couldn’t otherwise experience.

    “These adventures create lasting memories and provide a sense of hope when it is needed most.”

    Travel and holiday wishes are the most popular wish choice, with almost half of Starlight Wishes involving air travel with official Wishgranting partner, Virgin Australia.

    Virgin Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Libby Minogue said, “Since our partnership began in 2010, Virgin Australia has helped Starlight grant almost 3,000 wishes, flying kids to unforgettable experiences and holidays across the country.”

    “Set against the incredible backdrop of Hamilton Island, the 13,000th Starlight Wish milestone was one to remember.

    “From a pre-flight experience in our Lounge, to games onboard and surprise mid-flight entertainment, it is an incredible privilege to make the journey even more wonderful for Starlight kids and their families.”

    Over the last decade, Hamilton Island has welcomed over 250 sick kids for their Starlight Wish. This year alone, 12 sick kids have travelled to Hamilton Island for their Starlight Wish, with at least 12 more booked to travel before the end of the year.

    “We’re delighted to see Hamilton Island play a role in the celebration of 13,000 Starlight Wishes, and grateful for the opportunity to partner with Starlight and Virgin Australia to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these deserving kids,” CEO, Hamilton Island, Pete Brulisauer, said.

    “I’m also pleased to see the Hamilton Island Community come together to support this event, from our school and local fire brigade to the various businesses that operate on the island.

    “A big thank you to AV Partners and Skylighter Fireworks for the services they provided in kind to make this a truly special event.”

    Starlight relies on corporate partnerships and the community to help fulfill life-changing Starlight Wishes. With over 700 sick kids still waiting for their Starlight Wish this year, the need for ongoing support continues.

    To help fulfil more life-changing Starlight Wishes, visit

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