Tim Conolan AM

Children's charity founder

2014 Australia's Local Hero

At age 20, Tim Conolan was asked to attend a cancer support group camp as a motivational speaker. It was there that he met some seriously ill children who were to change the course of his life. Tim established TLC for Kids in 1998 with his long-term partner, Ana, and has spearheaded the charity’s remarkable growth with his passion and infectious positivity. He was instrumental in developing TLC’s national Distraction Box program, which benefits more than half a million children every year in 400 Australian hospitals. Distraction Boxes include therapeutic toys and items used by healthcare professionals to guide children through frightening and painful procedures. Preliminary research suggests the toys and items reduce procedure time and hospital waiting lists. Since TLC’s establishment, Tim has assisted more than four million sick children and their families. His mission is to ensure every child in every hospital in Australia has the emotional and practical support they need.


"Becoming a Local Hero was one of the proudest moments of my life. It was wonderful to have the recognition for our organisation and the acknowledgement of the hard work I, along with so many others, had put into TLC for Kids to make it a crucial part of the healthcare system.

"The Award provided another level of trust and confidence from the public and in anyone we were speaking to about our cause. On top of all that, it made my parents even prouder of me. It was, and still is, quite humbling.

"2023 is TLC for Kids’ 25th year of providing vital services to sick kids and their families. Since I received the award in 2014, we have provided over 13 million positive impacts in the lives of those facing difficult and challenging times. Whether it be distracting a child during a medical procedure or examination, helping a family with financial support to pay for medical expense or respite, or hosting a trip in our TLC ambulance for a child in palliative care and their family to experience a special day out one more time."