About Us

Southern Cross Kids' Camps is a unique organisation dedicated to helping children who have been subjected to abuse, neglect or domestic violence.

Our programs are designed to bring fun and laughter back into the lives of children whose everyday existence is less than ideal. One leader, called a buddy, is assigned to each child ensuring that “a week of happy memories” is the outcome of camp.

SCKC was established in 2000 and is a registered Australian charity with DGR and tax exemption status. Our organisation is volunteer based, with a small team of five part time employees.

In 2017, with the assistance of more than 500 dedicated volunteers, 400 children participated in camps. After a week enjoying activities that encourage fun and laughter, they left with fresh perspectives for dealing with their past, additional life skills for the present and much-needed hope for the future.

We conducted 13 camps in 2017, seven in Victoria, three in New South Wales, one in Queensland, and our first in South Australia.

SCKC receives referrals from organisations working with disadvantaged children, such as Anglicare, Mirabel, DHHS, and other social welfare groups which refer children to attend our camps.

 

Why our camps are so important

Many children attending our camps live in foster care and often move from home to home. A significant number have endured difficult experiences and struggle with multiple issues. Almost all have counsellors or social workers. These children have been robbed of the opportunity to just be children, something that most of us take for granted.

Unfortunately, abused children often experience a diminished quality of life and are frequently unable to attain their potential. They are at greater risk of encountering problems in later life including suicide attempts, anxiety and depression, dissociative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and juvenile delinquency.

 

How we help children who need us most

Inviting children to return to a Southern Cross Kids’ Camp year upon year enables us to build on the foundation of the previous years, continuing to develop their confidence, self-esteem, and trust in others. We provide the children with a positive event to look forward to, with many counting down the months from one camp to the next. Each child has one adult, called a Buddy, that is their leader for the week. This ensures they receive outstanding and undivided attention, which demonstrates value and worth to each child.

At Southern Cross Kids’ Camps, we aim to make a significant difference in these children’s journeys towards wholeness and believe that disadvantaged children deserve to be given every opportunity to grow up to become resilient and productive members of our society, despite the adversity they have encountered.

For many of us, one week at a camp might not seem like much, but to a child who’s been abused or neglected, it’s a really big deal.

For every $500 we raise, we can change one more child's life… So please give what you can or partner with us to make a difference.
The Significance of the Starfish

This story is based on an event reported to have happened somewhere along the east coast of Australia.

A jogger out for his morning run stopped at the top of a cliff overlooking an ocean beach. As he caught his breath, he noticed that way below him, hundreds of starfish lay stranded on the sand, and that with every receding wave, more were being left behind.

While he watched, he saw a boy amongst the starfish, bending down and throwing them back into the waves one by one. Jogging down the track to the beach he watched for a while before talking to the boy.

"I can see what you're trying to do," he said, "but don't you see what’s happening? What difference do you think you can make?"

The boy looked at him and then down at the starfish in his hand. "Well, I don't know", he said, "but I think it will make a difference to this one".  And he threw the starfish back into the sea.

And so, the starfish has become the emblem for these amazing camps for children who have been doing it tough. Most of our kids have been abused, emotionally, physically or sexually,  and they know what it is to feel stranded.

We're determined to help as many as we can, one by one.