A Bear Affair is an annual gala ball for The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Bear Cottage provides end-of-life care for terminally ill children and their families.


Bear Cottage opened its doors back in 2001, addressing the real need to provide care and support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The vision was to provide medical care in a cottage by the seaside with exceptional support services for the whole family.  A home away from home was therefore created which gives families a place of comfort and care.

Fast forward more than 15 years and Bear Cottage has gone beyond this vision. It has advanced paediatric palliative care to the highest standard and built support structures around it that cater to the psychological, social and spiritual needs of families.  Bear Cottage is a haven for those travelling the toughest journey imaginable.  This facility sits high above Manly Beach in an area surrounded by open space and bushland.  It gives families an immediate feeling of peace and tranquillity. A place far removed from the clinical setting of a hospital.

Now into it’s 17th year, Bear Cottage has cared for over 1,000 families travelling the unthinkable journey of having a baby, child or young person with a shortened life.  Well over half of these children have spent their last days, months or years at Bear Cottage receiving a high standard of care from an experienced multidisciplinary team.

One of the most incredible things about Bear Cottage is that it was literally built from the ground up through community support.  At every point of the Bear Cottage evolution, you have been there, sharing our vision and digging deep to help us keep our doors wide open for those who need our help.  Over $3.5 million has been raised through A Bear Affair alone since we first came together in 2002. This support has transformed our facility and our care in many ways.

In 2017, A Bear Affair was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, Sydney on 26 August. We had 458 guests entertained by our fabulous MC in Jenny Brockie, the incredible comedienne and ventriloquist Darren Carr and the magnificent band – Jellybean Jam. We heard from two Bear Cottage families – and there were plenty of amazing prizes up for grabs in the Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffle, Lucky Door Prize, Bear Cave and the new Man Cave. Overall, $458,000 was raised for Bear Cottage through the 2017 A Bear Affair. We are extremely grateful for our sponsors, donors, volunteers and all our guests who helped achieve this record-breaking result. 

To find out how you can help, or for more information about the 2018 event to be held on Saturday 25 August at the Hyatt Regency Sydney, contact Des Poeling-Oer.