About Us

Every year, hundreds of children across the state of Victoria experience the death of a parent.

Across Australia, one in twenty children below the age of eighteen experience the death of a parent (ABS 2019 Census data). This is one child in every classroom. Wombat’s Wish, is a community-focussed, not-for-profit organisation based in Drysdale, Victoria. Our mission is to support children and young people after the death of their parent/carer, with our outreach encompassing the entire state of Victoria, Australia.

This is an extremely difficult time for both the child/young person and their family and can potentially result in long-term emotional health challenges. Wombat’s Wish assists bereaved children to find a way to live with loss and grief; to move forward and take the next steps on their bereavement journey. Wombat’s Wish’s flagship program delivers weekend camps for children and the surviving parent/carer. The organisation also provides group counselling support and/or 1:1 counselling where appropriate. All services are proudly offered at no cost to families. Wombat’s Wish delivers therapeutic programs and services provided by a team of professional facilitators (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, youth workers) in conjunction with trained and qualified volunteers.


Wombat’s Wish – our background and name

In 1991, Jill Crookes, a local psychologist from the Geelong region had children aged ten and eight. One Saturday afternoon, Jill’s husband was playing cricket and tragically died during the match. Over a number of subsequent years, Jill investigated what services were available across Australia to support families in a similar circumstance that she went though. Based on Jill’s knowledge and experience from her psychology background, she couldn’t locate the service she was looking for.

Having heard about Winston’s Wish in the United Kingdom, Jill visited their operations in 1998 and spent considerable time with them to understand the therapeutic programs that they offered families. Jill knew that this was what was needed in Australia and with support of a strong local network and grass-roots funding, in 2005, the first Wombat’s Wish camp was successfully delivered in Anglesea, Victoria.


Why Wombat’s?

The name ‘Wombat’s’ provides the linkage to our Australian roots. Wombat’s are also very resilient animals and a fun fact – a group of wombats are called a wisdom. We think that is a great collective noun to sum up our organisation.


Our Vision

To develop a community based service that will provide the support that parentally bereaved children, young people and their families need.

Wombat’s Wish committee:

  • Chairperson: Casey Kaminskyj
  • Vice-Chair: David Trott
  • Secretary: Jo Betz
  • Treasurer: Tamara Wright

Wombat’s Wish team:

  • Manager: Nicki Dunne
  • Operations Coordinator: Rebecca Scott
  • Bec Moore

Contact Us:

Phone: 0499 966 228
Email:  freeman@wombatswish.org.au