Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.


A Decade of Fun-draising at Kids Day Out for Good Friday Appeal

By Bree Pagliuso|

Over the past 10 unforgettable, fun-filled years, Kids Day Out for the Good Friday Appeal at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has grown into a beloved family tradition.

With family fun fairs, carnival rides and activities, star-studded guests, and the heartwarming Teddy Bear Hospital, Kids Day Out has contributed significantly to the over $468 million raised for The Royal Children's Hospital.

MCEC has and continues to be a proud partner of the Good Friday Appeal.


Chatting with Vanessa Draga, Community Engagement Specialist at MCEC, she expressed the joy of organising the event "It’s been wonderful to collaborate with the Good Friday Appeal team.

Together, we have raised essential funds for the Royal Children's Hospital. Rallying hundreds to volunteer yearly and with over 80,000 visitors (last year was record-breaking with 102,000), witnessing our employees' enthusiastic participation and positive impact on the Victorian community is truly incredible."

As we celebrate a decade of memories, we're excited to reflect on the special moments created within our venue.

Follow our fun-filled journey below.

Setting records and finding a home

Amount raised: A record $16.8 million

Unforgettable memory: The popular Kids Day Out event moved permanently to its new home at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2014 transforming MCEC into a kids' wonderland with activities for the whole family to enjoy while raising funds for the appeal.

An easter egg takes centre stage

Amount raised: $17,109,063

Unforgettable memory: MCEC's pastry chefs created of one of Australia's largest Easter eggs, donating the egg to the GFA online auction.

Fun facts:

  • The Easter egg weighed over 60kg and took over 50 hours to create

  • The farmyard was made using premium Callebaut Belgium chocolate and a spinning wooden box donated by Ingrain Designs

  • More than 200 hours of food preparation to feed over 60,000 people

  • 190 Food and Beverage employees served GFA attendees

"With 20 years of volunteering on the phones, I’ve found that people who call into the Appeal often have a personal connection to the cause or a story of their own to tell. The Good Friday Appeal is fantastic. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you’ve helped contribute to the funds that were raised."

Tammie Petch, Executive Assistant to MCEC Chief Operating Officer

Tradition meets innovation

Amount raised: $17,445,624.38

Fun facts:

  • Kids Day Out expanded with a new partner, City of Melbourne

  • 1100 volunteers contributed at the event

  • Celebrated 85 Years of Good Friday Appeal

“I've been involved since GFA's first year at MCEC and my favourite moments have been the making and presenting of the large eggs. One year, we created a barnyard scene; the next was a giant bunny holding a giant egg; another year, it looked like a playground with small eggs going down a slide. I've found that every year is new and exciting, and I was always in awe of the talent of our chocolatiers who made it happen.”

Renae Hooper, MCEC Sous Pastry Chef

Sweet success

Amount raised: $17,605,662

Unforgettable memory: During an interview with Jacqui Felgate (Channel 7 News Presenter), MCEC shared news of its expansion, featuring flythroughs of the new space.

Fun facts:

  • Despite construction works, GFA continued to have full venue access for Kids Day Out

  • MCEC Chefs prepared food over 300 hours for 80,000+ people

  • Homemade ice creams by MCEC Chefs are introduced

  • A raffle included a 35kg handmade Easter egg, with all proceeds going to charity

  • Over 250 MCEC employees worked on the day

  • MCEC's fibre-optic infrastructure provided the signals for the telethon and Channel 7 broadcast, supporting 350 telephones, another 350 computers, and the live TV broadcast

More space, more fun

Amount raised: $18,043,251

Unforgettable memory: The Ice Cream-O-Rama activation is unveiled with MCEC's pastry chefs’ hand-making over 4,500 ice creams featuring two Easter-inspired flavours – Hot Cross Bun and Rainbow Easter Egg.

Fun facts:

  • With the expanded space, there's even more room for fun and activities

  • 250 MCEC employees volunteered

  • More than 300 hours of food preparation to feed 90,000+ people across 11 food outlets and nine mobile carts

Scoops of support

Amount raised: A record-breaking total of $18,175,467.

Unforgettable memory: Hosting over 85,000 visitors within MCEC for the Good Friday Appeal.

Fun fact:

  • The interactive Ice Cream-o-Rama returned, serving over 3000 house-made ice creams

Going virtual for a cause

Amount raised: $18,200,000

Fun fact:

  • The iconic collection tin went virtual with the launch of the Virtual Tin Shake in 2020. This fundraiser allowed the community to raise money online despite social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19

Resilience in numbers

Amount Raised: $17,122,879

Kids take centre stage

Amount raised: A record-breaking total of $22,328,154

Unforgettable memory: Hosting over 80,000 visitors for the Good Friday Appeal.

Fun facts:

  • Funds were raised to support ground-breaking research, state-of-the-art equipment, and family-centre care programs

  • MCEC donated over $1.7 million, including waived venue hire, technology, resources, catering, and event support

"Reflecting on my decade with GFA, it's tough to pick just one standout year, but crafting the ice cream event and the Easter egg pinata stand out. With ten years under my belt, my favourite treat to make remains the giant Easter pinata. For this year's 10-year celebration, I'm keen to sell out our ice cream and set new fundraising records!"

Alessandro Bartesaghi, MCEC Executive Pastry Chef

Shattering records

Amount raised: History-making $23,061,320

Unforgettable memory: Record-breaking crowds of over 102,000 people, all enjoying over 61 wonderful activities!

Celebrating 10 years!

Amount raised: $23,368,724

Unforgettable memory: Celebrating our 10-year partnership with GFA, MCEC's award-winning Pastry Chef Alessandro Bartesaghi hosted a chocolate egg decorating masterclass for 10 lucky ambassadors and their families.

Fun facts:

  • 94,154 excited visitors enjoyed the popular Teddy Bear Hospital, posed up with their favourite superheroes and emergency service workers, enjoyed carnival rides and played in the sporting zone

  • The interactive Ice Cream-o-Rama served 900 house-made ice creams for visitors and sold nearly 300 10-year cupcakes


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