News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Clown Doctors awarded $30,000 grant

Smiles all round as Clown Doctors awarded $30,000 grant

• Jetstar awards $30,000 Flying Start Programme grant to Clown Doctors New Zealand.
• Specialist “clown college” training and Smile Days nationwide appeal will extend impact around the country.
• 2013 Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant applications now open.
Jetstar today announced that Clown Doctors would receive the airline’s fourth Flying Start Programme grant, which is made up of $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel.

Clown Doctors New Zealand says a $30,000 grant from Jetstar couldn’t have come at a better time for the medical charity as it seeks to expand its services throughout New Zealand and bring more smiles to kids in hospital.

Clown Doctors New Zealand CEO Dr Thomas Petschner said, “In more and more countries, laughter as medicine is integrated into the daily hospital routine. There is an overwhelming demand for our services around the country so spreading the word about our work is very important for our charity.”

A three-day Medical Clowning training clinic, facilitated by the International Institute of Medical Clowning (affiliated with Steinbeis University, Berlin, Germany) will be held in Auckland in early February 2013, funded by the cash component of the grant. All 24 Clown Doctors will participate and put their new skills to use immediately.

“Without the Jetstar Flying Start grant we would not be able to provide and facilitate the world-class training in Medical Clowning for all our 24 Clown Doctors from around New Zealand,” said Dr Petschner.

David Hall, Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO, said that the Clown Doctors are providing a hugely valuable, and often un-noticed, service in hospitals.

“Bringing a smile to someone who is unwell is no easy task – the work the Clown Doctors do with families who are enduring a very tough time is remarkable. Their ability to bring joy and laughter to many is what impressed the judging panel and we are thrilled to be supporting such a unique organisation.”

Jetstar Flying Start Programme judge and rugby league legend Steve Price has seen the Clown Doctors in action at Starship Hospital.

“There is little known about the healing power of a smile and laughter. The work the Clowns Doctors do, in helping patients and families through a tough time, is an amazing and powerful thing.”
So far Jetstar has supported four NZ charities, donating a total of $120,000. Previous recipients include Bellyful, Arthritis New Zealand and Deaf Aotearoa and this year will see the launch of the popular Flying Start grant programme in Australia.

Applications for the first 2013 New Zealand grant close at 5.00pm (NZST) on 31 March 2013 and application details can be found at


Over 50,000 hospital patients and family members have been entertained in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch hospitals since the Clown Doctors organisation started in New Zealand in 2009.

Clown Doctors use laughter as an aid to encourage and motivate, give psychological support and complement the therapy of the sick or suffering in hospitals and relief centers. The funny chaos created by Clown Doctors brings smiles not only to the faces of the patients and their family members, but also to hospital staff and visitors.


Grant Allocation
Each quarterly grant will be worth $30,000, comprising:
- $15,000 cash
- $15,000 worth of travel with Jetstar anywhere on the Jetstar network
- Promotion of their community group or organisation on Jetstar’s website and Facebook page

Who can apply
Entry is open to New Zealand based not-for-profit community groups and organisations of any size, who are seeking funding to help enhance the lives of people in their local community and can be classified into one of the following categories:
• Charity;
• Educational organisation;
• Health organisation;
• Sporting group or organisation; or
• Arts group or organisation.
The community group or organisation should have a specific project in mind for how the grant will be used to benefit their local community.

How grants are awarded
Entries are reviewed by a judging panel that includes:
• Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall
• Rugby league legend Steve Price
• Jetstar pilot Richard Falkner and Jetstar Passenger Services Manager Sharon Cocker
When applications open and close
Applications for each 2013 quarter open and close on the dates below and details can be found at

Q1 1 December 2012 31 March 2013
Q2 1 April 2013 30 June 2013
Q3 1 July 2013 30 September 2013
Q4 1 October 2013 31 December 2013

2012 Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant recipients
Quarter 1 - Bellyful - the Kiwi charity providing free, home cooked meals to new families, used the grant to help fund the travel and costs associated with opening new branches around the country including its first ever Christchurch branch in August.
Quarter 2 - Arthritis New Zealand. Its grant will create a unique camp for Kiwi kids suffering from arthritis. To be held in Matamata in 2013, the camp will offer young sufferers a chance to meet, learn new skills and build their confidence.
Quarter 3 - Deaf Aotearoa. Deaf Aotearoa’s grant is going towards the second annual NZ Deaf and Hearing Impaired Parents Conference and Children’s Camp in January 2013. The grant will give an additional 20 families the opportunity to share the challenges they face raising hearing children and learn from expert speakers and educators. Children who have deaf parents will also be able to meet other kids who have similar experiences.
Quarter 4 - Clown Doctors

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news