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About us

Our Mission

To enhance wellbeing, lift spirits and improve health through joyful humour, insightful connection, and creative play.

The Humour Foundation delivers the many benefits of laughter where it is unexpected, yet most needed.

Our history

The Humour Foundation is a national, registered charity co-founded by the late General Practitioner Dr Peter Spitzer and professional performer Jean-Paul Bell. The first Clown Doctors outing was in Tasmania in response to the Port Arthur massacre, with the first regular Clown Doctors program established at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick in 1997, and at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne the following year. In 2011 we responded to the need for laughter therapy and human connection in the residential aged care sector and launched our first Laughter Care program in Melbourne (previously known as the Elder Clowns program).

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Safeguarding commitment

The Humour Foundation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all workers to share in this commitment. We have Safeguarding Children certification with the Australian Childhood Foundation.

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Our impact

A recent study conducted by Social Ventures Australia shows that for every $1 invested into our Clown Doctors program, there’s a $9.90 social return to the community. Further, where evidence is limited, we are at the forefront of driving new understanding of our work.

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All that we do, the decisions we make, and the approach we take is determined by our four core values:

Respect yourself, others, and the work we do.

Compassion is to connect with empathy and sensitivity.

Optimism means celebrating new possibilities with wonder.

Creativity is playfulness that nurtures innovation.

“You are the laughter that we want to give to our children when we are out of laughter.”

– Chris (parent)