CEO Walk In My Shoes

North Australia

What to expect during this immersive experience

You will gain a first-hand understanding what parents and carers go through on a daily basis, as well as getting an opportunity to see what it takes to create the best possible experience for a family and come to know the families staying at the House in Townsville.

During this 22-hour overnight immersion experience, you will be:

  • Cooking and serving dinner and breakfast to our families;
  • Guided through real life scenarios, gaining a better understanding of what families go through;
  • Using your skills and knowledge together to tackle a business issue
  • Gaining a unique insight on what it takes to run the House and create a true sense of empathy for the families that stay at RMHC North Australia.

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The Willis Family

For some regional Queenslanders, regular access to hospital care is just not possible. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) North Australia are there to support families from regional Queensland and the Northern Territory, families like Emma and Dan Willis.

Emma and Dan were living on the family’s cattle farm, 60km out of Georgetown and a 6-hour drive to the closest major hospital. Soon after they were married, the couple welcomed little Patrick, or ‘Patty’ as he is affectionately called. “He was just a perfect, a beautiful, healthy little boy,” Emma gushed.

When Patty was five-months-old, he developed a temperature that worsened overnight and was rushed to hospital where he had a seizure and was placed in an induced coma. Patrick had the HSV1 virus, or ‘cold sore virus’, which can be deadly in children as young as Patrick. The virus is often innocently and unknowingly passed on through loving kisses, and it was attacking Patrick’s brain.

Patrick was in hospital for 82 days receiving specialised care, and thanks to RMHC his family were able to be right by his side despite being hundreds of kilometers from home. “Honestly, it was such a weight off. Your world’s falling apart in front of you and they (RMHC) have you covered, it’s mind-blowing stuff”.

With ongoing care and treatment, Patrick has started to turn a corner and his family are seeing improvements, with their little boy becoming vocal and smiling again.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) North Australia

RMHC North Australia opened our state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House, adjacent to the Townsville University Hospital, in 2004. Offering a safe and welcoming home-away-from-home for over 100 people a night, RMHC North Australia strive to keep families together when life gets turned upside down due to a child’s illness.

With a geographical reach spanning across North Queensland and the Northern Territory, RMHC North Australia provides care and practical support programs to families from some of our country’s most remote regions in their greatest times of need.

Our Programs are run by a tirelessly hard-working team of staff and volunteers, aided by the generous support of our donors, sponsors, corporate partners and the local community.