About RMHC Australia
We keep families together and close to the care their child needs
To support the ever-changing needs of seriously ill children and their families.
To achieve the best outcome for families by reducing the impact of their child’s serious illness.
Our Programs and Services
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it impacts the whole family. Lives can be turned upside down. That’s why we provide a range of programs to help families stay together and close to the care they need.
18 Ronald McDonald Houses
Keeping families under the one roof and close to the Hospital
Families often have to travel far from home to receive the medical care their child needs. Our 18 Houses provide essential care and support for families, only steps away from the hospital.
18 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms
A comfortable place for families to rest and recharge in hospital
Take a break from the ward in one of our 18 Family Rooms across Australia. Located in Women’s and Children’s Hospitals and just moments away from their child’s bedside, carers can make a cup of tea or a meal, take a shower, or simply rest.
5 Family Retreats
Holiday accommodation to relax and reconnect
Our 5 Family Retreats in idyllic locations give families with a seriously ill child, or those grieving the loss of a child, the opportunity to take a break and spend some much needed time together.
Ronald McDonald Learning Program
Helping sick kids catch-up on missed education
With a Learning Program in each Australian State and Territory, we help over 1300 students every week catch-up on missed education, making the return to school less stressful. In addition, our EDMED program helps ensure teachers are well equipped to support seriously ill children returning to school.
Founded in 1974 in Philadelphia, USA, Ronald McDonald House Charities began with a single-minded and powerful goal: to provide a House where the families of children in hospital could get some rest away from the ward.
Today, RMHC is truly global, with 365 Ronald McDonald Houses in 43 countries and regions across the world.
RMHC in Australia
In 1981 children’s charities were forever changed in Australia when the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in NSW. Since then, the charity has grown to 18 Houses across the country as well as 18 Family Rooms, 5 Family Retreats, One Care Mobile and our National Learning Program.
The first Ronald McDonald House
Australia’s first Ronald McDonald House was located next to the former Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown NSW, before moving to Westmead in 1995 when the hospital relocated.
Our House at Westmead soon had a significant waiting list, so to address the demand we initiated the “Building Love” campaign in 2012 to raise capital funds for the development of a bigger and better House. The campaign was a resounding success and in 2018 our new House was opened, able to house more than double the original facility could.
World-first Ronald McDonald Learning Program
Our Learning Program was launched in 1999 to support seriously ill children who had missed months, or even years, of school. This was a word-first Australian initiative to ensure that seriously ill children weren’t further disadvantaged by also falling behind at school. Providing one-on-one tuition from qualified teachers, this Program has had a significant impact on the confidence and future prospects of children who have battled serious illness.
RMHC Australia Today
Thanks to the generosity of the community, our vital partners, our incredible staff and our tireless volunteers, today we support more than 40,000 families each year.
Our National Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors oversees the strategic direction and governance of the national RMHC Australia team as well as funding for the charity’s programs and services across Australia.
Andrew Gregory - Chair
Andrew was appointed to the Board of RMHC in 2014 and is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of McDonald’s Australia Ltd. Andrew originally joined McDonald’s as a casual crew member while studying Economics at university. He worked in a number of roles in finance, development and operations within the Australian business, before taking the role of Development Officer and Chief Restaurant Support Officer for McDonald’s Japan in 2010. He returned to Australia in the role of Chief Financial Officer, before becoming CEO of McDonald’s Australia in 2014.
Barbara Ryan - CEO
Barbara has worked at RMHC Australia for over a decade, initially as the National Program Manager overseeing the growth and development of new programs. She was appointed to Chief Executive Officer in 2014. Barbara has been involved with the not for profit sector for many years, working at the Royal Flying Doctor Service and then as CEO of a Division of General Practice. She holds a degree in Physiotherapy, an Associate Diploma in Project Management and a Masters of Health Administration. She has previously worked in the health sector as a physiotherapist as well as in hospital administration.
Glenn is a Board member of RMHC Western Australia and has been since its inception in 1989. During this time, he has held. an Executive position on the board of management for 28 years and was Chair for 14 years. Glenn was a parent with child with cancer and was originally involved in the parent support group. He was also a McDonalds owner operator for 15 years. This Chapter has grown and evolved and over this time Glenn has been involved in fundraising for and building 2 Ronald McDonald Houses. Glenn has been the recipient of 7 Community Awards, including RMHC’s highest award, the “Heart Award “in 2006 and recently the 2017 Volunteering WA “Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering” Award.
Tim is a McDonald’s owner operator since 1995. Previously he worked as a Chartered Accountant for 13 years after completing his Bachelor degrees in Accountancy and Electronic Data Processing at QIT. From 1990 - 1995 he was a Senior Tax Manager with Price Waterhouse in both Hong Kong and Australia. Tim is extremely passionate about the charity with all of his stores having a strong RMHC fundraising culture.
Barry is a McDonald’s owner operated and was Victoria’s 4th Licensee commencing in 1977. Barry’s business has evolved through the purchase, sale or rebuild of 23 restaurants and extensive reinvestment over the last 41 years. He currently operates 9 McDonald’s restaurants with scope for growth with new restaurants opening 2019-2021. Barry is a fierce supporter of RMHC having served 2 years previously on the RMHC Australia Board, and also the Board of Management of the Parkville House from 1988 until 1995. From 1995 he became Chairman of the Victorian Ball Committee, with 2017 Gala marking his 24th year in the role.
Mark is the current Honorary Treasurer at RMHC Greater Western Sydney and has held this role for 24 years. Over that time, he has been responsible for the financial management of the House and its associated local programs including the Nepean Family Room and the NSW Learning Program. Mark has more than 35 years of experience as a Certified Practicing Accountant (FCPA) and Tax Agent and is currently the Managing Director of Dynamic Taxation and Training Services and a Director of Smithink. He has extensive experience in financial management both within the corporate and not for profit sectors.
Stephen was appointed to the Board of RMHC in 1985 and is currently Chair of the Audit & Finance & Investment Board Subcommittee. He held the position of Board Chair for 9.5 years from 2000 – 2010. He is the former Deputy Managing Director of McDonald’s Australia Ltd and is a FCPA now retired. Steve was in the Australian Army, then worked as CFO for O'Brien Glass before coming CFO of McDonald’s Australia. Steve has been a long-term supporter of the charity.
Emma was appointed to the Board of RMHC in 2016 and is currently the Director of Legal / Deputy General Counsel for McDonald’s Australia Limited. Emma graduated from the University of Technology Sydney in Law (first class honours) and Business with a major in Marketing. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Emma worked in leading Sydney law firms Henry Davis York and HWL Ebsworth. Emma’s role at McDonald’s has seen her provide legal advice and support across all areas of the business including property, planning, employment, franchising, operations, marketing, IT and supply chain. Emma is a passionate and active supporter of RMHC.
Les White was appointed the inaugural NSW Chief Paediatrician in 2010. Prior to this appointment he was the Executive Director of Sydney Children's Hospital (1995–2010), President of Children’s Hospitals and Paediatric Units Australasia (1999-2004), Convenor of the Greater Eastern and Southern NSW Child Health Network (2001–2010) and the John Beveridge Professor of Paediatrics (2005-2010). He was awarded a Doctorate of Science for research contributions related to childhood cancer and holds a Master of Health Administration. In 2007 he received an Order of Australia award for service to medicine, medical administration and the community in the field of paediatrics.
We invite you to take a look at the latest RMHC Australia Annual Reports below. They will provide you with more than just numbers. You’ll learn about how generous donations help make a significant and lasting difference to the lives of seriously ill children and their families.