About RMHC Australia

We keep families together and close to the care their child needs

Our Mission

To support the ever-changing needs of seriously ill children and their families.

Our Vision

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.

19 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 19 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.

Our History

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 378 Ronald McDonald Houses in 62 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.

CEO of McDonalds

Antoni Martinez - Chair

Antoni was appointed to the Board of RMHC in 2022 and is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of McDonald’s Australia Ltd. Antoni started his career with McDonald’s in Victoria, Australia, in 2000 as a crew member. From here, he moved into various roles, including Development Director of the Southern Region and Market Director for the Southern Region, where he was responsible for Operations, Franchising and Marketing for more than 300 restaurants. In February 2020, Antoni was promoted to Managing Director, McDonald’s Korea, and relocated to Seoul to lead the Korea team with a continued focus on business transformation, Delivery, and Digital. He returned to Australia and was appointed Managing Director and CEO of McDonald’s Australia in 2022.  

Barbara Ryan headshot

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.

Headshot of Carolyn Townsend

Carolyn Townsend

Carolyn joined the Board of RMHC Sydney in 2003 and during her eighteen years on the Board, has served as Secretary 2007-2008, Vice Chair 2009-2011, Chair 2012-2014, Vice Chair 2015, Chair 2016-2017, Vice Chair 2018-2019 and is currently Board Chair. This is Carolyn’s second term on the RMHC Australia Board, previously serving as a Chapter representative from 2013-2019. Carolyn holds a bachelor of Hospitality Management (UWS Hawkesbury) and a Bachelor of Commerce, Industrial Relations (UOW). Carolyn is extremely passionate about RMHC and is extremely proud to be an RMHC Australia Director.

Headshot of Tim Banks

Tim Banks

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.

Headshot of Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald

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.

Headshot of Stephen Jermyn

Stephen Jermyn - OAM

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.

Headshot of Emma Napoli-Hala

Emma Napoli-Hala

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.

Headshot of Les White

Les White

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.

Carl Henman

Dr Carl Henman

Dr Henman is a GP Obstetrician & Sonologist. He specialises in providing antenatal and post-natal obstetric services and has a sub-speciality in fetal and gynaecologic ultrasound. Dr Henman has visiting rights at WWBH where he contributes to maternity services. He also takes a keen interest in paediatrics having completed the Diploma in Child Health. As well as being a busy clinician, Dr Henman is also committed to serving the broader medical and general Wagga Wagga community. He has a teaching role in the Faculty of Women's Health at UNSW and  takes pride in being a local and national board member of Ronald McDonald House. Outside of work, Dr Henman enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children and keeps active with the odd cycling, triathlon, or golf adventure. Carl was appointed to the RMHC National Board in 2019.

Profile Picture Professor David Eisenstat

Professor David Eisenstat

Professor David Eisenstat joined the RMHC Australia Board in September 2021. David served at the Royal Children’s Hospital as the Director/Head of Department of the Children’s Cancer Centre in November 2020. David has also joined the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) as a Group Leader, Cancer/Neuro-Oncology, in the Cell Biology Theme and he has been appointed as an Honorary Professorial Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne and as an Adjunct Clinical Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Monash University. He is also the Co-Lead, Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium funded by the Medical Research Futures Fund.

Profile Picture of Mick McLoughlin

Mick McLoughlin

Mick joined the RMHC Australia Board in September 2021 and is currently the Owner and Managing Director of Bencee Fitout & Construction. Mick has had a long involvement with the charity since 2004 and has served on the Board of our South East QLD Chapter since 2014. An avid golfer and proud grandfather of two, Mick is the current National President and Board Member of the Australian Internal Fitout Association and Mentor to the Brisbane Broncos Team Players. 

Impact Reports

We invite you to take a look at the latest RMHC Australia Annual Impact 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. 


Annual Impact Report 2021

Annual Impact Report 2020

Annual Impact Report 2019

Annual Impact Report 2018

Annual Impact Report 2017

Annual Impact Report 2016

Annual Impact Report 2015

Social Return On Investment

Since we began in 1981, Ronald McDonald House Charities has been supporting the ever changing needs of seriously ill and injured children and their families, during what is often the most stressful time of their lives. Today, through our four core Programs - Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms, Learning Program and Family Retreats as well as Care Mobile and our Hospitality Cart - we are able to help 60,000 families every year, forming an essential part of Australia’s health care infrastructure and education systems.

As these Programs are only possible through the generous help of our many supporters and partners, we wanted to reveal the true extent of the incredible impact that your support has on the lives of so many.

To make this possible, we carried out research to measure our Social Return on Investment*. Developed through an internationally recognised framework for understanding, measuring, and valuing social, economic, and environmental outcomes, the research allowed us to understand the outcomes that had been achieved through the Programs. By measuring the positive change these outcomes have had on peoples’ lives, we are able to place dollar value on the impact we have achieved - this is known as the ‘social and economic value’.

Looking at the total contribution from supporters and partners, for every $1 invested, RMHC is able to return $3.60 of social and economic value.

Behind this 360% return sits a powerful story about the life changing impact the Programs have on the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of seriously ill and injured children, families and communities, as well as the important contribution they make to the country’s health and education systems.

From everyone at RMHC and on behalf of all those you have helped, we wish to thank you for your continued support. Without you, none of this would be possible.


*The Social Return On Investment Research was undertaken by Social Ventures Australia in 2019.

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