Australia’s first teenager hospice opens

  • by Kate Bowman
  • December 20, 2022

The old Manly Hospital site on North Head in Sydney now boasts Australia’s first purpose-built facility dedicated to teenagers and young adults with life limiting illnesses. The service will be for 15 to 24-year-old patients and will offer respite care, symptom management, and end-of-life care.

Officially open to patients from February 2023, the facility is surrounded by national parks, bushland and environmental conservation areas, providing a natural and peaceful setting for young people and their families.​​

The Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) will accept young people from all across NSW and will work closely with nearby Bear Cottage to coordinate care and support in the transition from children’s to adult services. Families will receive bereavement support and counselling services.

It has eight bedrooms for patients, two family accommodation units with two bedrooms each, a kitchen, dining room and laundry facilities, a lounge room with an outdoor balcony and harbour views as well as games room, media room, multi-sensory room and quiet rooms.

There will be about 40 staff, including doctors and nurses as well as occupational, music, play and art therapists for the young patients.

The project had been a focus for local fundraisers and largely came about due to millionaire philanthropist Kay Van Norten and her husband Gregg Poche donating a whopping $5 million towards to $19.5 million it cost for the build. Ongoing operating costs will be funded by NSW Health.

Northern Sydney Local Health District is currently recruiting for a variety of medical and nursing positions.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact them at

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