Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our maiden post

Touched by Olivia is a charity, formed in the honour of little Olivia Perkins.

In November 2006, John and Justine Perkins tragically lost their baby daughter Olivia, at just 8 months old, to a rare illness. Their life, as they knew it, came crashing down with the immense sadness and numerous other mixed emotions that followed. This most devastating time of John and Justine's life however has brought with it new meaning. A gift, if you like, with a message - a message to positively enhance the lives of children and their families in a significant way.

Founding the Touched by Olivia Foundation is a step towards realising the dream that will become Olivia's legacy. In her short life, Olivia touched many hearts. It is John and Justine's hope that Olivia will continue to touch many more lives through the work undertaken by the Foundation

John and Justine's dream of spreading Olivia's touch is happening daily, with the creation of Australia's leading All Abilities playground, Livvi's Place, the establishment and ongoing funding of a research fellowship at Sydney Children's Hospital into lymphatic disease and the purchase of state of the art laser machines, and the creation and implementation of our indoor Livvi's Place at Macarthur Square in partnership with Good Beginnings.

Every day, John and Justine are overwhelmed with the support they receive and words of thanks from parents utilising the programs that the Foundation are running. This blog is a home to share Olivia's touch with the world.


  1. We recently went to Livvi's Place in Five Dock to assess whether it would be appropriate to have our daughter Maia's 5th birthday there. Our daughter is developmentally delayed with skeletal dysplasia, sometimes finds it hard to balance and will often give us a heart attack when she displays her lack of concern for dangerous situations! She attends an EI Preschool as well as mainstream preschool, and being the social butterfly that she is, she has many friends across all developmental spectrums. So, with that in mind, we wanted a playground children with disabilities and children without disabilities could play and have fun together without the normal barriers of a regular playground.
    We were in absolute awe at how not only user friendly the equipment was but just how fun it was for ALL children. All I could see in my head was Maia's physically and/or mentally disabled friends being able to laugh and yell and scream while sitting on the big, flat to the ground, merry-go-round, or lying down on the mesh swing or bashing away at the xylophone and tyre drum alongside Maia's "mainstream" friends having the same fun on exactly the same equipment. It really blew me away at how much thought had gone into ensuring that this could happen.
    So. The date is set. Maia will be having her very first party with her wonderful friends. And it's going to be great because EVERYONE can join in the fun and excitement!

  2. Emily, that is such wonderful and heartwarming feedback! Thank you so much for sharing with us. Everyone at TBO wishes Maia the Happiest of Happy birthdays, and feels very honoured that she and her mates will be celebrating @ Livvi's Place.

  3. I live near Livvi's Place and take mt kids their often. It is great to see such a well designed playground, for all kids, in our area. I can't wait to go to the other all abilities playgrounds that are going to be made- all due to John and Justine and Touched by Olivia!