TLC for Kids founders - Tim Conolan AM and Ana Darras AM

Our Founders

Tim Conolan AM

Tim Conolan AM is the Founder & CEO of TLC for Kids. Tim founded TLC for Kids in 1998 after addressing a cancer support group as a motivational speaker. He was inspired by their stories to create an organisation that supports all children in hospital, no matter the illness.

Tim Conolan AM established TLC for Kids with his long-term partner, Ana Darras in 1998. TLC for Kids is a not-for-profit organisation that provides immediate distraction and practical or emotional support and relief to sick children and their families, during critical times of crisis and hardship, regardless of their illness, condition or background. After entering the world of entrepreneurship at age 20, 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. TLC for Kids’ aim is to reach those children who are distressed and in need of immediate help or who do not meet the criteria of the existing services, as well as children with less common illnesses and diseases.

With passion and infectious positivity, Tim has spearheaded TLC for Kids’ remarkable growth, and his mission remains clear: to ensure every child in every hospital in Australia has the emotional and practical support they need.

I believe that any sick child, regardless of their illness, has a right to support… and all sick children should have the opportunity to smile”

– Tim Conolan AM

Australian of the Year

2014 Local Hero

In 2014 he was honoured to receive the Australian of the Year Local Hero Award and the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur Award for the Southern Region. Tim also is an Australia Day Ambassador. And in 2019, he also became a Member of the Order of Australia. (AM). These platforms have been invaluable in helping Tim do what he loves most – helping sick kids.

Ana Darras AM

Ana Darras has had a long and diverse career spanning nonprofit, PR, retail, and politics. She has been an International Designers Assistant Buyer at David Jones; Ministerial Officer with the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs with the Australian Federal Government; a PR & Media Officer for key programs and major fundraising appeals at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne; and the Co-Founder of TLC for Kids, a charity that has put over 15.1 million smiles on the faces of sick children and their families. 

For over 30 years, Ana has given back to the community, with her longest-standing role at TLC for Kids, a registered nonprofit organisation providing immediate distraction and relief to sick children and their families during critical times of crisis, regardless of their illness, condition or background.

I am passionate about making a real difference in the lives of children and families facing difficult times.
Working at TLC for Kids allows me to combine my skills and compassion to provide crucial support during challenging medical journeys.

– Ana Darras AM

Ana Darras

Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Ana has dedicated numerous years to providing support to sick children and their families during their most challenging times. Her positive and proactive approach is an inspiration to us all, and it's clear that her commitment has played a vital role in our organisation's success.

Get to know Tim and Ana more…

Extensive experience

With over 20 years of experience in the charity sector, Tim and Ana have built strong relationships with hospitals, healthcare professionals, and volunteers.

They have committed to ensuring that every child facing adversity receives the care and assistance they deserve. Tim’s leadership and vision have been instrumental in expanding TLC for Kids’ reach across Australia.

Australian of the Year Awards 2014

The Australian of the Year Award recipients were selected from more than 3000 nominations submitted by the public.

The Commonwealth Bank has been the major sponsor of the Australian of the Year Awards for 35 years.  Chief Executive Officer, Ian Narev, congratulated the 2014 award recipients.

The Australian of the Year Awards are a great honour, made even more special because everyday Australians nominate their peers for recognition, the award recipients for 2014 represent the very best of us. They are achievers whose passion and commitment bring about change for the benefit of this great nation.

CBA Chief Executive Officer, Ian Narev

One Nomination is all it takes…

We encourage you to consider nominating someone you might know for an Australian of the Year Award.

Raising awareness

Through his tireless efforts, Tim and Ana have raised awareness about the challenges faced by vulnerable children and advocated for their rights.

Tim and Ana’s compassion and drive to create positive change have inspired many people to get involved in supporting the cause. Tim Conolan’s work continues to make a significant impact on improving the well-being of young patients and their families nationwide.

Australian of the Year media links

Tim Conolan Australian of the Year interviews, Articles & Media

Podcasts / Interviews

In the Media

Photo Gallery

Tim Conolan TedX Talk

Guest speaker enquiries

For enquiries about booking Tim Conolan AM for a speaking engagement, please contact or call 1300 361 461.

Discover more about TLC for Kids

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How we help

As a steadfast safety net, we offer individualised support to sick children and their families, recognising that the smallest acts of kindness often make the largest impact.

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Get Involved

For fundraising ideas for kids or fundraising ideas for charity, read more to learn how to get involved with TLC for Kids and TLC for Kids events.

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