20 years of fun with the Clown Doctors
The Clown Doctors celebrated a special milestone this month – their 20th birthday! They have been spreading joy across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network since 1997.
Guests of honour Dr Duffer and Dr Quack were joined by Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Chief Executive Dr Michael Brydon, representatives from the Humour Foundation, staff, volunteers and patients for a special celebration and birthday cake to mark the anniversary.
The Humour Foundation has run the Clown Doctor Program since Dr Sniggles (Helen Quinlan) conducted the first clown round at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick 20 years ago. Clown Doctors, highly trained professional performers, now spread doses of fun and laughter across the country, with regular visits to 24 hospitals in every Australian state and territory. Since the program started there have been over 2 million interactions with hospital staff, parents and patients throughout Australia.
Clown Doctors are not only welcomed by the patients and hospital staff, they are a relief for parents and families. One parent sums up the difference a visit from a Clown Doctor can make: “Every time Clown Doctors came to visit our son they would take such a weight off my heart. In those moments I could see hope and could see our son before he got sick. I cannot tell you just how much we, as parents, sometimes need those moments to help us get through. Hospitals would honestly be like a desert without Clown Doctors!”