It all started in 1931 when groups of journalists from the The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd organised a sporting carnival in aid of charity, the Children’s Hospital being a receiver of the funds. In 1942, Sir Keith Murdoch as Managing Director and Editor of The Herald agreed that The Herald and radio station 3DB (now MIX101.1) should broadcast an all day Appeal on Good Friday. In 1957, Seven Network joined the Appeal and began the first daylong telethon, which is now held at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome.
Three media organisations 3AW, Seven Melbourne and The Herald and Weekly Times Herald Sun are the major supporters of the Good Friday appeal and are important for its success.
The Herald Sun newspaper gives a lot of editorial space to promote the good Friday appeal and the work of the Royal Children’s Hospital each year. The telethon is the opportunity for viewers to see the miracles performed at the Hospital, to phone through their donations, and for many to hear their contribution acknowledged publicly.
The Good Friday appeal is known for the fun, enthusiasm and good ideas of those involved. Supporters can be seen having billycart races or ferret and yabby races, giving a gala ball in a grand hotel, running a golf day or shaking collection cans. The Appeal’s strength lies in the thousands of volunteers who give of their time, skills and creativity to make sure that events are successful and the rewards are great.
The Appeal is a non-political, non- denominational organisation that exists only to financially support the Royal Children’s’ Hospital Melbourne.
A record $10,280,532.53 (AUD) was raised in 2006, beating the previous record set in 2005 by $197,000.
This record was again broken in in 2007, with a final amount of $11,788,970.00 (AUD) raised. This surpassed last years (2006) record by a large $1.5 Million (AUD).
The 2008 Good Friday Appeal raised $12,482,380.