Term 1 2022

In Term 1 2022, we were excited to see the return of students to our modified COVIDSafe Program

In brief:
  • Program highlights
  • A status update of upcoming events, including our rescheduled 90th Birthday Celebration and the Beach2Beach Fun Run
  • We acknowledge the tireless efforts of our donor community and offer some ideas for those looking to help in the future

Term 1 2022 Program Highlights

Our Board-endorsed reduced program began on 14 February 2020

Modifications to the program have continued into 2022 as we carefully navigate a COVIDSafe path through this pandemic. Changes include a smaller cohort of students (20 students, down from 84 at full capacity) over a shorter period (five days, not the usual 12-day stay).

There has, however, been no compromise on the level of fun on offer!

Over the coming months

From Term 2, we will return to operate the usual 12-day program, adapted with a smaller cohort of country children and from the same area. We remain optimistic for an on-track return to full pre-COVID capacity for the start of Term 4.


We are pleased to provide an update on the following events that have been rescheduled for 2022, following cancellations in 2021.

90th Birthday Fundraising Dinner

Our fundraising dinner at the iconic Bathers’ Pavilion on Balmoral Beach, Sydney, is on Tuesday, 7 June 2022.

You are invited to join in the celebration. See our website for details and to purchase tickets.

Beach2Beach Fun Run

The inaugural Beach2Beach Charity Fun Run, scheduled in 2021, has encountered several setbacks, including COVID and bleak weather forecasts.

The organisers, Rotary Club of Brookvale, are trying for 3rd-time-lucky on Sunday, 28 August 2022.

We look on the bright side, once again, as we get even more time to train and raise funds. You may prefer to support Stewart House with a one-off donation if registering to join our team on the day isn’t appealing. Details for all levels of support are available via this link.


We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many supporters, individuals, clubs, and organisations who donate in-kind goods and services to enhance the experience of the children who visit. This support level helps us free up our budget for the many other essential services we provide.

As we regularly receive enquiries about new ways to support our Program, we thought we would provide some information on some great options:

Gifts and Rewards

While at Stewart House, the children participate in an awards program where they receive High Five Dollars for displaying the following three core attributes throughout their stay. To be safekind and fair, and for having a go.

These ”dollars” can then be used in the Stewart House High Five Shop, which stocks a wide range of brand new age-appropriate toys and gifts for which the children redeem their dollars on the day before departure. Also, each child celebrating a birthday while at Stewart House gets to take home a special present from a range of brand new items. It’s a real treat!

This fun element of the program would not be possible if not for the generosity of support from schools, individuals, clubs and organisations. Learn more about how you can get involved in gift-giving for Stewart House children.

Recycle for Cash

Offering an eco-friendly option to donate to Stewart House by recycling your bottles and cans is ReCollecta door-to-door bottle collection service that makes fundraising for your favourite charity a breeze.

It’s pretty easy. Jump online and book a pickup using https://app.re-collect.com.au/stewarthouse, nominate Stewart House as your preferred charity recipient, and place your bags outside for collection. ReCollect will allow everyone (individuals, schools, businesses, etc.) to donate directly to our organisation.

Spread the word!


Meet Bowie!

Bowie is the newest member of staff in our Stewart House School. This handsome guy joins the team as our Emotional Support Puppy.

He is still in training, and we are excited to share more about him in the coming months.


Ann’s Story

People who have spent time at Stewart House often reflect on what it meant to them and sometimes they let us in on their insights.

“My name is Ann, I attended Stewart House in the early 1990’s. It was the best two weeks of my life.

I really enjoyed how you were still at school but you also did other activities that you may never get to do with the family.

I remember staying in the downstairs girl dorms and that there was so many other girls and boys, having a break from home and making so many new friends.

My main memories are waking up to the beach across the road, going on excursions, to Palm beach (where the TV show Home and away was filmed) the zoo, movies, having little discos, going swimming across the road at the beach was amazing.




It was great writing letters home to family and getting a reply and having clothes washed each night I was about 7-8  years old at the time and I loved every minute, I think every kid should experience this.

Stewart House had a positive effect on my life – I stayed in school finished my HSC and have now become a director of a childcare centre, I valued how I was treated by the teachers and wanted I too wanted to help other children.








(*Above vintage images from the Stewart House hard drive – Summer Bay/Palm Beach 1996)

Thanks for letting me have a little trip down memory lane.”


Variety Kids Christmas Party

Thank you to all of you who continued to support Stewart House this year and made it possible for around 1,700 children to enjoy the benefits of the Stewart House program.

These students have engaged in experiences to enhance their wellbeing, develop new relationship skills and give them hope for the future.

The Stewart House health and wellbeing program continues to evolve and we have an exciting year ahead. We ask that you considers Stewart House as a charity worthy of your support in 2019.

Stewart House children at the Variety Kids Christmas Party








Pictured is Group 19, from Far West, Broken Hill, Sunraysia, Mildura and Barwon.

Children were entertained by dress up characters, slippery dips, a haunted house, face painters, police cars and fire engines.


Thank you to our supporters, Variety Children’s Charity & the Harbord Diggers Mounties Group for hosting Christmas parties for Stewart House children each year.



Amy’s story – Memories from the millennium

People who have spent time at Stewart House often reflect on what it meant to them and sometimes they let us in on their insights.

My name is Amy and I grew up in Mt. Druitt. During my primary school years life was a challenge and being the eldest of 5 kids it often fell on my shoulders to help out with the young ones.

Going on a holiday was something which was what my friends did, not me!

When I was offered the opportunity to attend Stewart House in 2000, I was excited but also extremely nervous.

The beach is what I saw on Home and Away not across the road from my bedroom!

My time at Stewart House created some of the happiest memories of my childhood.

Meeting new kids, and being in the older girls’ dorm was something which excited me and made me feel special and like I belonged. I was afforded opportunities I never could have dreamed of.

The day excursions, a special trip to Sega World, going to the filming of a music television show and seeing the band Killing Heidi absolutely blew my mind. It enabled me to understand what opportunities in life I could have.

(Photo by Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

After my time at Stewart House I had a new found desire to work hard to create a life which allowed me to have such special experiences.

Fast forward 18 years and the shy Year 6 girl from Rooty Hill Primary School has completed her HSC, obtained a nursing certificate, completed a double degree (Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts (Primary) and is teaching primary school students in Victoria and encouraging them to believe in themselves just as the mentors at Stewart House did for me.

The thing I find sad about living in Victoria is that students here don’t have access to an amazing program like Stewart House. I am grateful to have been part of such an inspiring and giving program.


Stewart House children at the Easter Show!

All the children who stayed with us in late March went to the 2018 Royal Easter Show at Sydney’s Olympic Park. This was made possible with the support of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. The group thoroughly enjoyed themselves and in their own words “had a blast!”.

They enjoyed everything from meeting the different animals, exploring the Arts and Crafts pavilion, eating multi-coloured fairy floss and shopping for Showbags, while some of the more thrill seeking children revelled in the rides.

A few snapshots of the day:






Jess’s Story

Stewart House student and recently, a volunteer.

People who have spent time at Stewart House often reflect on what it meant to them and sometimes they let us in on their insights.

Jess shares her story…

Í grew up in Broken Hill, living with my dad and brother from a very young age. I attended Stewart House in 2011 because I was from a single parent home, struggling financially, I didn’t have friends and I generally didn’t fit in; my Principal thought I needed a break.

My time at Stewart House was a time I will never forget and a time I will always be grateful for.

What I remember attending Stewart House in 2011

The staff, teachers and supervisors, how fun they were, making us laugh with fun activities. They were there for us whenever we needed anything. Making friends, going to the pool, Powerhouse Museum, Taronga zoo, Sydney aquarium and the beach.

Pictured above: Girls having fun at the beach in 2010


Not having many friends at school was tough, but in my cabin and class at Stewart House everyone became friends with each other. It was a good feeling.

Volunteering 2018

Fast forward to 2018, I’ve lived in Adelaide for 2 years and am 1.5 years into a double degree at Flinders University, working part time and starting to make a life for myself. I have 5 weeks off over mid-year break. I could have stayed in Adelaide and worked a lot, but I wanted to do something a bit more meaningful with my time. I thought about what I could do and decided to email Stewart House.
Over the past 7 years I’ve thought about my time at Stewart House quite often; how much fun I had and how grateful I was to be chosen to attend. So now I’m back at Stewart House as a volunteer and it is still as amazing as I remember.
I can’t say that Stewart House changed my life; I went back to Broken Hill, went back to school and everything was the same. But the 12 days I was here were the funniest and happiest 12 days I had experienced in a long time and it was the break I needed at that point in my life. I hope I can help provide the kids here at the moment with a positive break from their home life, fun activities and good memories to cherish forever.

 Pictured above: Jess in her origami class

So far I have spent time with both girl’s cabins and a couple of the class groups. I’ve been on excursions with the classes and stayed in doing activities too. I ran an origami lesson with class C. It was the first time I had taught a lesson and it went really well.
All of the staff here are really kind and the kids have been great too. I was really nervous when I first got here, but everyone made me feel welcome. I connected with the kids pretty quickly and I feel like the kids really like having me here. If there is one thing I wish the students at Stewart House could take away from their time here is that their current circumstances do not define who they are and where they can go in life. I believe everyone can be and do extraordinary things if they work hard, think positively and never give up.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” – Anonymous


Memories from Alfie

On a regular basis we receive feedback from our previous clients. Alfie shares with us, reflecting on his time at Stewart House.

My name is Alfie, I will be turning 71 this June 2018. I had the pleasure of attending Stewart House several times some 60 years ago when I was about 10-11 and 12 years of age.  While reminiscing over my past life I was overwhelmed coming across some memories of my stay at Stewart House.

How well do I remember my stay, I believe the school teacher’s name at that time was Mr Engram or England or something like that.  I recall him teaching us basket weaving and the song Botany Bay, enjoying his style of educating children. He also came with the children on our excursions to the Zoo, and to the theatre so watch “Around the World in Eighty Days”. I also remember how much I missed talking to him.

The cabins then and now, accommodation has improved over time:

I don’t recall the name of the dorm master but I do recall the double bunks and listening to the sound of the ocean while drifting off to sleep.  I recall he would take us on walks on the beach learning about shells and creatures that lived in the water and on the shoreline.

I remember the dining room and enjoying some foods that were new to me. I remember having a slice of bread and jam after school, and after beach walks getting ready for dinner. I remember the TV room, watching the “Micky Mouse Club” and singing along with their melodies.


I remember the staff members telling us stories and teaching us poetry and encouraging us to write our own. I remember friends we made some who I kept in touch with for many years.

At the time of my visit I was living in Hurstville and attended Kingsgrove Public School. For the past 33 years I have resided in the city of Rockhampton, Queensland. Whilst living in Sydney, I worked for the then MWS & DB (The Waterboard), received my diploma in human resources and majored in training. When I left Sydney and moved to Queensland I continued my vocation in training mostly assisting the less fortunate to get employment, including those with disabilities, youth at risk and many other target groups, something I loved doing.

My love and gratitude to your staff for participating in such a wonderful career, caring for children.

Please feel free to share this letter, yours sincerely, Alfie

Then and now, Taronga Zoo:

Popular excursions at Stewart House include:

  • Taronga Zoo
  • Australian Museum
  • Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
  • Travel on the Manly Ferry
  • Walks across the footpath on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Visits to local parks & attractions

Since 1931, Stewart House has been to changing the lives of children and to giving them hope and aspiration for the future. Stewart House provides recreational and experiential activities designed to enhance children’s social and emotional wellbeing, self-esteem and resilience.

For Stewart House to provide these vital services to around 1,700 children every year, we need to raise $4.5 million annually.  Across nine decades,  staff from NSW public schools have supported our worthy cause through salary donations. We appreciate their generosity and commitment to helping public school children living in difficult circumstances.

If you would like to make a donation please click here. 



Team Member Interview with Sarah Haywood

Stewart House relies on an amazing team of teachers, supervisors, service staff and volunteers in order to look after the children and deliver its programs to all who attend. It also requires a dedicated team to manage the operations of the organisation and raise the essential funds needed to run our programs, as we rely almost entirely on the charitable donations of our supporters. Read on to meet Sarah who has had both teaching and fundraising roles.

How are you involved with Stewart House? 

I was a teaching Assistant Principal at Stewart House School for three years and this year I’m employed as a School Liaison Officer. My current role involves visiting schools across the metropolitan area to promote our health and wellbeing programs and reaching out to teachers to discuss the benefits of becoming a regular donor.

My work at Stewart House has been the most rewarding work I’ve been involved in within a long career in education.  It is uplifting to work alongside so many warm and compassionate people to support our students and provide them with enjoyable experiences, new understandings and skills.

Why is Stewart House important? 

In my role as School Liaison Officer it is important for me to convey to teachers the considerable impact that our programs can make on the health and wellbeing of their students. The children have the opportunity to learn important life skills at a depth not covered by the regular school curriculum. As well as having a well-deserved break, the students leave Stewart House with a toolbox of self care, social and emotional regulation skills that can truly enhance their own wellbeing and relationships.

Since 1931 Stewart House has provided support to over 220,000 children and the demand persists today. Our compassionate and dedicated Stewart House team wants to continue providing this essential service to 1700 children each fortnight, long into the future, however, we need ongoing financial support to do this. Donations will allow us to assist many more children and offer them hope for the future.

Sarah Haywood – School Liaison Officer