Sydney Opera House sails go gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

On Friday 1 September, the Sydney Opera House sails were lit gold for the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

To honour the 950 kids and young adolescents diagnosed with cancer each year, the iconic landmark hosted a public candlelight vigil, lighting the sails gold as a symbol of solidarity and unity with all children and families affected by the disease.

Collaborative partners in the childhood cancer research space included the Cancer Australia, The Kids’ Cancer Project Children’s Cancer Institute, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and The Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation worked together to deliver this awareness event.

Over 350 families attended the event and heard from guest speakers including Associate Professor Tracey O'Brien, Director of the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick; Alex Wright, Parent Advocate Committee, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick; Professor Jennifer Byrne, Head of the Children’s Cancer Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; Professor Murray Norris AM, Deputy Director, Children's Cancer Institute; Owen Finegan, Chief Executive, The Kids’ Cancer Project; and Cancer Australia, Acting CEO, Associate Professor Christine Giles.

Associate Professor Tracey O'Brien, Director of the Kids Cancer Centre said, "To honour every child cancer patient, not only did we host a candlelight vigil at the Sydney Opera House, we also lit up the iconic sails gold.

"This is our way of recognising the need to do more for children with cancer, and sharing this message with the world. We see the hero is all children and their families touched by cancer."

Alex Wright, from the Parent Advocate Committee at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick agreed saying, “The night was a celebration of how far we have come, but also a heart-warming tribute to those young lives taken too soon.

"Cancer is not something we can face alone, as an international community together we can guide those families who are sitting in wards to let them know we are here and we can face this together,” Alex added.

Cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month gives these children and their families a national voice and the community an opportunity to show them they are not alone.

Events will continue throughout September - spreading greater awareness and encouraging Australians to fundraise for research and science into finding a cure for childhood cancer. Find out more at