About AWCH

About AWCH

The Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH) is a national not-for-profit organisation that has been advocating for the needs of children, young people and their families within the healthcare system in Australia since 1973.  

AWCH works in partnership with: children, young people, and their families, health professionals, the NSW Ministry of Health and the broader community, to ensure that the psychosocial needs of children, young people and their families are recognised and met.

Our vision

The best possible healthcare for children and young people.

Our mission

To advance the wellbeing of children and young people receiving healthcare.

We believe in

  • working in partnership with children, young people and their families
  • equal access to safe, high quality healthcare for all children and young people
  • valuing and using the opinions and experiences of children, young people and their families to improve healthcare
  • families playing a vital role in supporting children and young people within the healthcare system
  • fostering partnerships between children, young people, their families and healthcare providers
  • the provision of culturally respectful and age appropriate healthcare services and facilities
  • readily accessible and appropriate information and resources for children, young people, their families, the health professionals caring for them and the broader community
  • ensuring children, young people and their families have their voices heard and rights respected at every level of the healthcare system

History and achievements

The Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare, AWCH (formerly the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital) was established on 15 February 1973 as a voluntary organisation. It consisted of both professional and non-professional people who were interested in promoting the non-medical needs of children and their families in hospital and health care.

Over the years AWCH has been the voice for children and their families in the health care system. Being a non-government organisation, we are able to bring consumer pressure to make changes in the psychosocial care of children in hospitals. AWCH has been instrumental in the introduction of:

  • increased and flexible visiting hours for parents/carers and siblings of hospitalised children and adolescents
  • parents staying with their child during hospitalisation with appropriate facilities
  • recognition of the importance of play/education for a child/young person’s preparation and recovery while in hospital
  • increased parental involvement in all aspects of a child’s hospital care
  • development of “The Charter on the Rights of Children and Young People in Healthcare Services in Australia”, in partnership with CHA



The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce



Prof Jane Edwards

AWCH President

Chair AWCH Board

Mae Rafraf

AWCH Vice President

Dep-Chair AWCH Board

Liam Madden

AWCH Secretary/Treasurer

Prof Alison Hutton

President Emeritus


Elizabeth Harnett

Executive Director

Michelle Taylor-Adams

Admin Officer

Jillian Rattray