Variety's Story

All kids should be able to follow their dreams and be the best they can be. No matter what life throws at them. No matter what their ability.

Each year, thousands of kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability, get support from Variety – the Children’s Charity when they need it most.

Our mission is: Empowering Queensland kids who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability, to live, laugh, and learn.

Our vision is for all Aussie kids to attain their full potential regardless of ability or background.

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 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.


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


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.


The Variety Bash celebrates turning 30, having raised over $200 million for children in need.

Some of our key partners

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