Goal setting

Louise Baxter is making dreams come true


Louise Baxter is the CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation where she leads the profit for purpose organisation to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families.

In this interview, Louise talks about how working at Starlight fulfils her career dream and the key things that she is doing to enable the organisation’s success.

Louise discusses how her career began in brand marketing and the fast moving consumer goods sector where she worked for organisations such as Johnson & Johnson, Samuel Taylor, and Arnott’s.

“I started to feel like I needed to do something more worthwhile with my marketing skills and so I looked around, and there was a role at Starlight.”

“And so I moved to Starlight on a contract basis, and it was after a couple of months there that the CEO asked me what would it take to have you stay?”

“I was in a fundraising marketing role there [Starlight] and then I went back to the corporate world.”

When talking about her decision to move back into the corporate world of marketing, Louise describes it as “I had reached a stage where I needed to have the next job or otherwise it becomes Groundhog Day and that’s not good for you.

“One of the things I talk about all the time is you have to be in a position where you are leaping out of bed every day to go to work and if you’re not, you’ve got to think about why and it’s always, always better for you and it’s also better for the organisation if you move on.”

When discussing her return to Starlight in 2009 she mentions that “The board contacted me and said would you come back to Starlight?”

“My dream job has always been CEO of Starlight”

About the Starlight Children’s Foundation

The Starlight Children’s Foundation mission is “To brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families”.

In 2016 the organisation granted  426,238 “wishes“, sent 130 “Captain Starlight” ambassador into hospitals around the country making 58,496 ward visits and bringing fun to kids too sick to leave their hospital bed. The organisation also has “Starlight Express Rooms” in hospitals in every state in Australia to provide a state of the art escape for sick kids and their families.*


Finding Balance

Louise goes on to discuss how balance is the number one key when it comes to working in a sector where there is a never-ending need.

“One of the things I always talk to people about who start to work at Starlight is the fact that you need to balance your life and understand that. Because otherwise, it will drive you insane. You have to focus on what we are achieving and not the rest of what we need to be doing”

“However, from a strategic point of view we work in consultation all the time with health professionals, and we really are thinking about what is the changing model of paediatric health care – and it’s changing all the time.”

Louise talks about how the foundation’s initiatives are formed based on these changes that affect the children and young people that Starlight support.

“What we are doing is all about holistic care, so it’s about total care for children. The clinicians are there delivering the most wonderful support for them physically and their illness and the treatment, but we are there to lift their spirits.”

“30 years ago a lot of people didn’t believe that actually helped, now there’s evidence that shows that if you are in a better position from a mental health and wellbeing position you cope with everything better”

“I think one of the most powerful comments that a doctor ever made to me was Louise, in treating their illness we steal their childhood – and childhood is so important for children. Play is the work of children, and it’s how they learn and so for us to be able to give children back that chance to be children, to play, to learn, to laugh and to forget even if it’s just for that moment that they are in the Starlight express room, with Captain Starlight or with our Livewire program that is specifically developed for adolescents – that takes them away from everything else that is happening in their life at that moment and that’s a really positive thing”

To find out more about the Starlight Foundation and how you can help click HERE. Hyperlink: https://starlight.org.au/

Watch more videos from our interview with Louise

Louise Baxter is making dreams come true

Louise Baxter; Travel tips and favourite destination

Is charity work right for you? Starlight CEO talks about finding passion in your purpose.


Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.


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