John Hunter Children's Hospital hosted the annual Starlight Christmas party at the Starlight Room; Kasey Chambers and Knights players attend

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Issa-Bellah Ebdon (4) smiles alongside Captain Starlight, and Knights players Jamie Buhrer and Tautau Moga.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: Issa-Bellah Ebdon (4) smiles alongside Captain Starlight, and Knights players Jamie Buhrer and Tautau Moga.

There were plenty of smiles, and more than a few stars, at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital for the annual Starlight Christmas party. 

Hosted at the Starlight Express Room, the main event had a Christmas pantomime by Captain Starlight for the children, as well as a performance from Australian country singer Kasey Chambers.

The aim of the Christmas party was to allow “seriously ill children and their families to enjoy an afternoon of festivity”, as well as “providing a welcome distraction from the stress of hospitalisation”.

Starlight Express Rooms (SER), where the event was held, are treatment-free homes for sick kids, with an aim to “distract them from their illness while hopsitalised”. Any sick child admitted to a children’s hospital are entitled to Starlight Express Rooms with family and friends.

Captain Starlights – professional performers who use their skills in acting, music and art to entertain the children – were also in attendance at the event, with many dressed in bright purple costumes.

The event was also attended by a number of Newcastle Knights rugby league players, including Jamie Buhrer and new signing Tautau Moga.

Starlight is looking to raise more than $1.1 million to support sick children in the festive season – to donate, head to starlight.org.au or whatwouldyoudo.com.au.​