Victoria’s only children’s hospice gets a world-class revamp


The 21st of November 2023 will always be remembered as the day Very Special Kids unveiled its newly rebuilt children’s hospice – the Sister Margaret Noone Hospice at Very Special Kids House.

After six years of meticulous research, development and planning, our long-held dream of a world-class children’s hospice has become a reality. VSK House will provide world’s best practice facilities and specialist support, respite and end-of-life care for children and their families.

Although a paediatric palliative care facility, the state-of-the-art new centre is designed as a bright home-away-from-home featuring spaces for music and art therapy, a wheelchair-accessible playground, a hydrotherapy pool, and our resident therapy dog Jaffa.

It is the only facility of its calibre in Australia and the only children’s hospice in Victoria. CEO Michael Wasley stated,

 “Today is very much a celebration of what communities can achieve together… This very important event marks the end of a long journey and the start of a new chapter in holistic palliative care for Victorian children and families.”

The state-of-the-art facility is the legacy of Very Special Kids’ first employee and patron, Sister Margaret Noone – who opened the doors to the first VSK House in 1996. Sister Margaret had the well-deserved honour of cutting the ribbon, officially opening the doors to our rebuilt facility.

We were honoured to celebrate this watershed moment with key members of our philanthropic community who helped bring this project to life. A big thank you to the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for their significant contribution, as well as the tireless efforts of our Capital Campaign Committee.

The Honorable Jed Kearney, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care shared, “I couldn’t be more privileged to be here to mark such an important day for Very Special Kids… Every child has the right to the best quality of life, no matter how long that life is or how short that little life might be.”

VSK House will provide a safe haven for many children, including 12-year-old Mia who was staying at the hospice.

“Very Special Kids is everything and more,” shares Mia’s mum Margie.

“I trust this place with my daughter’s life…I went home, and I slept for the first time without playing doctor, nurse support worker or anything else.”


Gandel Foundation provided a leading grant to the redevelopment of the VSK hospice. Three Gandel Foundation Directors attended the official opening ceremony (left to right: Pauline Gandel AC, Barry Fradkin OAM, VSK President Peter Polson and Graham Goldsmith AO).