Variety's Story

Because all children deserve the same opportunities in life.

Our vision is to create a future where every child, regardless of circumstance or ability, can be supported, included and equal. Each year, thousands of children who are sick, experiencing disadvantage or living with a disability, get support from Variety – the Children’s Charity when they need it most.

Our history

Eleven men involved in the show business industry meet each week at a social club named “Variety Club”. On Christmas Eve, a baby girl is left abandoned on the club’s doorstep at the Sheridan Square Film Theatre in Pittsburgh with a note which reads:Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of showbusiness people and pray to God that you will look after her. Signed, a heartbroken mother.”Despite an extensive search, the mother is never found. The men informally adopt the baby and name her Catherine Variety Sheridan. They go on to pay for the Catherine’s education and upbringing. This prompts the club to start raising funds for other disadvantaged children and Variety – the Children’s Charity is born.

Founded on



Variety Australia is founded in Sydney

As a tribute to the show business origins of Variety, offices are referred to as ‘Tents’ and Chairmen are Chief Barkers.


The Ladies of Variety committee

The Ladies of Variety committee is founded, holding the inaugural Children’s Christmas Party in Sydney.

Derryn Hinch sketches a logo featuring the now iconic heart and hat, symbolising the show business origins of Variety and caring for our children. The logo is adopted by Variety Australia.

1980 - 1988

Regional Committees are founded in each of Australia’s mainland capital cities

1984 - 1985

Dick Smith invites his mates for “a drive in the bush” to raise funds for Variety. The Variety Bash was born and quickly becomes an incredibly successful charity event


Variety volunteers celebrate raising a record $1 million in annual revenue


Variety begins establishing independent ‘Tents’ in each state and territory


Variety opens its Newcastle office


The first Variety Livvi's Place inclusive playspace opens in Bankstown


Variety delivers its 1300th Sunshine Coach in Australia


Woolworths reaches a major milestone, having raised over $10 million for Variety


The Variety Bash celebrates turning 35, having raised over $240 million for kids in need.

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