An inspiring and authentic leader, Louise Baxter has been at the helm of Starlight Children’s Foundation as CEO since mid 2009. “Our mission is to brighten the lives of seriously ill children, young people and their families – replacing pain, stress and fear with fun, laughter and joy,” she says.

Louise has led the not-for-profit organisation through a period of significant transformation, improving every business metric, while expanding its networks to facilitate collaboration, connection and advocacy.

In recognition of her work, she was presented with the Not-For-Profit Executive of the Year award at The CEO Magazine’s 2015 Executive of the Year Awards.

“I strongly believe what we were doing yesterday is not we will be doing tomorrow,” she says. “You must seek out and embrace disruption. Be disruptive yourself. You need a growth mindset where people constantly put themselves in their customers’ shoes and try new things. If you are not ‘failing’, you are not trying hard enough.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in Australia this year, Starlight Children’s Foundation works to improve the lives of children and their families who have been affected by serious illness and hospitalisation. More than 520,000 positive Starlight experiences are created every year for these young people, and they’re developed in partnership with Australian health professionals after extensive and ongoing research.

Starlight Day

Louise Baxter, CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation

"The goal for 2018 is to raise A$1.3 million to support more than 33,000 sick kids and their families, giving them access to vital hospital services."

On Friday 4 May Starlight celebrates its biggest national fundraiser, Starlight Day, to raise much-needed funds for Australia’s seriously ill children.

Around 2,000 volunteers, decked out in purple and yellow, hit the streets in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane to sell Starlight merchandise and collect donations. The goal for 2018 is to raise A$1.3 million to support more than 33,000 sick kids and their families, giving them access to vital hospital services.

By the end of the year, Starlight plans to have opened two new Starlight Express Rooms in Sydney and Perth, as well as complete the refurbishment of the Starlight Express Rooms in Newcastle, New South Wales, and in Canberra.

Starlight Children’s Foundation relies solely on the community for funding and just A$39 can ‘Power the Happiness’ in one child.

To donate, visit; or join the conversation online using #StarlightDay and #PowerTheHappy.

Event Details

Wednesday 21 November 2018

ICC Sydney

Louise is on the judging panel of The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards. For more information on the event and how to apply, visit