A holiday from illness

Families of children experiencing serious illness are often placed under immense emotional, physical and financial stress. To help relieve this burden RMHC created the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat. They offer a place for families with a seriously ill child to enjoy a holiday together, take a break from the stresses of hospital and deal with their new life situation.

The first Family Retreat, Fiona Lodge in Batemans Bay, opened in 2003 and was the brainchild of Jim and Rachael Johns, owner/operator of McDonald’s Batemans Bay, and the late Des Phillips, a local artist who passed away after a long battle with cancer. The house is named after Fiona Art (née Week’s), a local woman who battled cystic fibrosis and passed away in 1998 at the age of 28.

During 2005, 3 additional Ronald McDonald Family Retreats were opened including Kessia's Cottage in Ocean Grove Victoria, Jurien Bay and Bunbury in Western Australia. Our 5th Ronald McDonald Family Retreat was opened in Forster, NSW in 2006.

In 2011 our sixth Family Retreat was opened at Palm Cove in North Queensland.  The Family Retreat is a two-bedroom unit located in the Mantra Amphora Resort on the beach front of Palm Cove.

There are currently six family retreats in Australia: