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Sydney Airport and Variety bring sunshine to children in need

13 May 2014
Category:Media Releases

• Variety Sunshine Coach presented to The Hills School in Northmead
• Purchased with funds raised from Sydney Airport’s Community Christmas Giving Appeal
• The Hills School teachers and students given special airport tour on their new bus

Sydney Airport and Variety – the Children’s Charity, today presented a Variety Sunshine Coach to The Hills School Northmead, which was purchased with funds raised from Sydney Airport’s Community Christmas Giving Appeal.

Students, teachers and carers from the school were presented with the coach at an event at Sydney Airport today, before being taken on a special VIP airfield tour.

“We’re thrilled to have raised $180,000 for Variety – the Children’s Charity through our annual Community Christmas Giving Appeal in 2013,” Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer, Kerrie Mather, said.

“It’s thanks to our passengers, the public, the airport community, stakeholders and volunteers that we’re able to sponsor a Variety Sunshine Coach for the students of The Hills School, helping them to access the wider community, develop life skills and have fun.”

Variety – the Children’s Charity Chief Executive Officer, Tam Johnston, said this is the 1250th Variety Sunshine Coach provided to schools, organisations and children in need across Australia.

“We are very grateful for the support and generosity of Sydney Airport, which has made a very significant difference to the lives of local Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs,” Ms Johnston said.

“I applaud Sydney Airport and the airport community for their collaborative spirit and thank them for their passion for helping Aussie kids in need.”

Principal of The Hills School, Peter Gurrier-Jones, said the donation would make a difference to the lives of children at The Hills School.

“We are so grateful for Sydney Airport and Variety – the Children’s Charity’s generosity and for the very special opportunity for our students to see aircraft up close and drive along the tarmac in our new Sunshine Coach,” Mr Gurrier-Jones said.

“We focus on teaching functional skills for life and this tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience our students can’t get in the classroom.”

The 14-seater bus has been customised with wheelchair modifications and caters to students with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities. It will provide educational and extracurricular opportunities by facilitating excursions to sporting venues, parks and school camps.

Variety – the Children’s Charity is a national not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh and learn by giving them practical equipment, programs and experiences.

The Hills School in Northmead is a NSW Department of Education and Communities school which caters for 120 students with special needs from four to 18 years old. The students have moderate to severe intellectual, physical, sensory, autism and challenging behaviours.

For more information visit http://www.sydneyairport.com.au or http://www.variety.org.au

Editors’ note: Photos attached.

Photo 1 (L-R): Chairman of Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW, Paul Mullaly; Sydney Airport CEO, Kerrie Mather; and The Hills School principal, Peter Gurrier-Jones.

Photo 2: Children from The Hills School enjoying an airfield tour at Sydney Airport.

More photos available on request.

Laura Stevens
Manager, Media and Communications
(02) 9667 6477 or 0437 033 479

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