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Twenty-five years ago, Walter Mikac AM, and a small group of volunteers, established a foundation on the belief that “all children should have a safe and happy childhood without being subjected to any form of violence.”

What is remarkable is that they did this in honour of Walter's daughters, Alannah and Madeline, who were killed alongside their mother in an unspeakable act of violence one year earlier.

From tragedy, vision. From tragedy, hope. From tragedy, strength.

Today, we, in turn, honour Walter Mikac AM and the impact the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has made. The form of violence and its effects may have changed, but our founding belief has not.

We uphold the rights of children and young people to be safe.

The right to be safe at home. At play. At school. The right to be seen and heard, and valued. The right to go online without abuse. The right to go to sleep without fear. The right to heal. The right to grow. And sometimes, the right to the unconditional love of a teddy bear when needed most.

Now through Dolly’s Dream, for their right to be safe from bullying – online, at school and beyond.

We fight for these rights not just because children are precious – they are – and not just because our instinct is to protect them from the world – it is – but because only when young people are safe can they also be happy, hopeful and strong.

Only when they’re safe is their best future possible.

That’s why we’re here, and why we do what we do. It’s their right. It’s our reason.

Our History


Two little girls, Alannah and Madeline, along with their mother and 32 others are tragically killed at Port Arthur


Alannah and Madeline’s father, Walter Mikac – along with Dr Phil West, Gaye and John Fidler and others impassioned by the tragedy – establishes the Alannah & Madeline Foundation


The first gala event, Starry Starry Night, is held


Buddy Bear becomes the mascot of the Foundation


Better Buddies program launches


First Lantern Walk is held, remembering those lost to violence


National Coalition Against Bullying (NCAB) was formed (now the National Centre Against Bullying)


First NCAB Conference is held at the Carlton Crest, Melbourne


Awarded National Safe Schools Framework’s $1m grant, Buddy Bear confectionery treats go on sale at national retailers and Half Time Wrap, the first footy and finance fundraising lunch, kicks off at Telstra Dome


Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark accepts the position of International Patron, Alannah & Madeline Foundation


NAB becomes Foundation Partner


The first Buddy Bag is sent to a domestic violence refuge and Better Buddies is adopted in Denmark as ‘Fri for Moberri’


The Crown Prince Couple, Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark host dinner at the National Gallery of Victoria to generate support of eSmart development


Children365 launches in honour and celebration of the children in our lives every day of the year


$3m Victorian Government funding to launch eSmart Schools to help keep our children safe online


The Crown Prince Couple attend Starry Starry Night gala ball


Alannah & Madeline Foundation named as Richmond Football Club’s preferred charity partner and St Charles Boromeo Primary is the first school to reach eSmart status


Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark launches eSmart Libraries in Sydney


The eSmart Digital Licence launches, with support from Google and Telstra Foundation partnership enables every public Australian library to be eSmart


Cubby House opens at Broadmeadows Children’s Court


20th anniversary of Port Arthur tragedy


Celebrating 20 years of keeping children safe from violence, the Foundation reaches 2 million children and eSmart Membership launches


Dolly Everett tragically takes her own life, Dolly’s Dream, founded by Dolly’s parents, Kate and Tick Everett, with sister Meg, joins the Foundation, second Cubby House opens at Melbourne Children’s Court and Australian Gun Safety Alliance launches


100,000th Buddy Bag is packed and our Early Years Trauma Consultancy Service (TraCS) launches


Foundation adapts all operations for COVID-19, eSmart Media Literacy Lab launches, supported by Google.org and the Foundation reaches 2.5 million children


First Responders Walk, Melbourne to Hobart, is held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Port Arthur tragedy, Dolly’s Dream Support Line launches, eSmart Digital Licence+ launches in partnership with the DQ Institute and the Accenture Australia Foundation


25 years of impact, the Foundation reaches 3 million children and young people


National Museum of Australia acquires a series of letters from our Founding Patron, Walter Mikac and then Prime Minister, John Howard, penned in the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy in 1996. This correspondence impelled a national reform on gun control in Australia - a defining moment in our nation's history. This year, after almost 27 years of continued advocacy by the Foundation to ensure Australia's gun laws remain responsible, safe and strong, the National Cabinet finally, unanimously agreed on implementing a National Firearms Register.