Hummingbird House was the vision of Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam, an ordinary Queensland couple, who after fostering a child with a life-limiting condition, made it their mission to build a home away from home for families living this reality every day.
In February 2011, Paul and Gabrielle founded Hummingbird House Foundation, originally known as Queensland Kids, and for the next four years worked tirelessly to engage all levels of government, philanthropy, paediatric palliative care, and most importantly—the Queensland community—to get behind their vision.
In 2012 and 2013, while this process was underway, Hummingbird House Foundation participated in a Federal and State Parliamentary Inquiry into palliative care, which resulted in the favourable recommendation to build a children’s hospice in Queensland. After an extensive lobbying process, this resulted in a $3 million contribution by State and Federal government towards the build of the House, and $1.6 million each year to support the first five years of operations. This, combined with two transformational gifts of $3.25 million and $500,000 (both anonymous) in response to a 2014 article published in The Courier Mail’s QWeekend, made the dream of Hummingbird House finally achievable.
In March 2014, Hummingbird House Foundation selected Wesley Mission Queensland to be the operational partner of Hummingbird House, and a joint initiative was formed. Wesley Mission Queensland is a well-respected non-profit organisation that has been supporting Queenslanders in need for more than 100 years. With 80 years of experience in clinical care, they were viewed as the ideal partner to bring the vision of Hummingbird House to light. Wesley Mission Queensland provided land for the development of Hummingbird House at their Wheller Gardens site in Chermside.
In February 2015, the first sod was turned, and the building of Hummingbird House commenced. Families that would one day receive our care and support were involved in every step of the process, from design through to inception.
In June 2016, the keys to Hummingbird House were handed over by project partners Woollam Constructions, and the House commenced working towards a phased opening of its services. The Hummingbird House team expanded considerably during this pilot operational phase, adding nurses, doctors, family support workers, personal care workers, housekeepers and cooks to the team.
In October 2016, after six years in the making, Hummingbird House officially opened its doors to the families that helped make it a reality. To date, we continue to walk alongside many of these families, who at the official opening of the House, hung 37 hummingbirds at the front door, representing the 3,700 Queensland children living with life-limiting conditions at that time.
Today, Hummingbird House offers care and support to families right across Queensland, with our reach extending well beyond the four walls of the House. This is a testament to how far we have come in a small space of time, and how committed we are to providing families true choice, in when, where and how they receive our care and support.
Hummingbird House was built by Queenslanders, for Queenslanders, and continues to offer our care and support to families across the state thanks to the generous support of the Queensland Government and supporters like you.