The John Hunter Children’s Hospital ‘Fairy Garden’ Proposed Renovation

Continuing the legacy into the future


About the Hospital

The John Hunter Children’s Hospital one of three children’s hospitals in NSW. Over a twelve-month period, the hospital will see over 25’000 children and young people present at the emergency department, have 9’000 admitted to hospital and over 100’000 occasions of service via outpatient clinics.

The hospital is a specialised tertiary referral paediatric facility and provides complex medical, surgical, major trauma and neonatal care services for all of Northern NSW.

The importance of the ‘Fairy Garden’

Providing access to the outside world, the fairy garden gives the brave children and families who are undergoing treatment or caring for a loved one at the hospital a chance to interact with nature.

The garden to date has been maintained by a very hardworking and passionate team of volunteers. The on gonging support these generous and hardworking people provide will be vital towards the garden’s development and success into the future. Without them, we would have no garden.

The benefits of the garden are many and vitally important throughout the treatment and recovery phase.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Open space for families to interact and engage with nature.
  • Lowers anxiety.
  • Provides green space within the hospital complex.
  • Interactive space for children and families.
  • Provides a space for respite.
  • Is a sensory environment.
  • Elevates levels of pleasantness and calm.
  • Reduces negatively toned emotions such as fear, anger or sadness.

Regarding physiological manifestations related to stress recovery, laboratory and clinical investigations have found that viewing nature settings can produce significant restoration within less than five minutes as indicated by positive changes, for instance, in blood pressure, heart activity, muscle tension, and brain electrical activity (Ulrich, 1981; Ulrich et al., 1991)

Our Involvement

We were initially asked in 2018 by James Rowse if would we be interested in both design and project administration duties of the proposed gardens renovation. Of course, we said yes immediately. Personally, I believe this to be our most important project to date and one close to our hearts and an honour to be involved in.

We have recently met with the key personnel regarding the garden renovation. Although we are in the very earliest stages of discussion regarding the renovation everyone involved is passionate and excited for what is to come.


The garden renovation relies heavily on community funding. Presently Kiera Wray from Hunter New England Health is working tirelessly with both business and community organisations to raise the necessary funding to complete this important project.

We are also actively involved in assisting in this process.

If you would like to be involved to help raise money for this worthy cause please contact us at we will put you in contact with the hospital fund raising team.


Below are some important links regarding the hospital, fund raising and the gardens.








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