About Us

Every year in Australia…

  • 68,000 children are hospitalised
  • Around 44,000 newborn babies require the help of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery
  • 2,500 babies are stillborn
  • Up to 1,000 babies lose their fight for life
  • In the ensuing crisis a vast number of parental relationships break down

From small beginnings our programs are rapidly expanding but we can only move as quickly as our support will allow.

And there’s more than one way for you to lend a hand. And every little bit counts and whatever you can do is truly appreciated.

The added stress placed on dads and their families during this time is almost impossible for others to comprehend.

The birth of a premature or sick newborn is an overwhelming and traumatic experience for families. Their lives are personally changed and significantly influenced by their experience.

In times like these a family needs support. Traditionally there has been a substantial range of help services available to mothers yet there are limited opportunities for dads. Those affected by these traumatic events equate to about 5% of fathers in the Australia every year. (Based on 2007 ABS Statistics)

The role and expectations for a father during this time are entirely different from those of a mother. Fathers go through the same experience as their wives yet there is little recognition that there needs to be help and support provided for men, and most men will never ask for it.

A father does not have much time to himself and every dad deals with this type of situation differently when his world has been turned upside down.

That’s where Pillars of Strength can help because our organisation stems from the experiences of one dad who lost his infant son and decided to put in place support mechanisms for dads where previously nothing had existed.

Pillars of Strength provides respite and support to dads facing significant family trauma. It gives dads the opportunity to access events for a bit of “time out” and it delivers practical assistance for dads throughout these periods of intense distress.

It’s worth noting the provision of Pillars of Strength services is not intended to be a counselling service, rather a peer support service and provision of respite and assistance.

Our Programs

To access Pillars of Strengths programs

Learn More

Hospital Support

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Support for Bereaved Dads

To see how you can help us ensure these programs flourish

Learn More


Gary Sillett

  • Chairman
  • Gary is currently the General Manager of an international Aid and Development organisation and has worked in the corporate and not for profit environment for the last 15 years in the areas of marketing, operations and management. His previous work experience includes working on 3 Olympic Games and a FIFA World Cup. He is a bereaved dad, who lost his son after two days in the NICU.

Dominic Burke

  • Director
  • Dominic is a director of goDADgo, a web portal dedicated to providing Australian fathers with help, advice and activities to enjoy with their families. Based on a career in advertising spanning over three decades working for market leaders including McCann-Erickson in Sydney and Saatchi & Saatchi in London, Dominic is also the director of Burkeworks, a consultancy that specialises in marketing and communications for a wide range of clients.

Karen Grega

  • Director, BBus MAICD
  • Karen is the Chief Executive Office of the Sydney Olympic Park Business Association. She formerly held roles with a number of State, National and International sporting organization including the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (12 years), Sydney FC in the A-League, Dunfermline Athletic FC in the Scottish Premier League and the International Cricket Council. She has more than 20 years experience in event, venue and sports marketing and management, sponsorship, and media and membership management.

Adam Awty

  • Director, CPA
  • Adam is currently Chief Operating Officer, Commercial for CPA Australia. He is responsible for the provision of strategic advice to the Chief Executive and Board on financial, commercial and business strategy. With a responsibility for more than 200 staff across 19 offices internationally. Adam leads the corporate services functions including brand and business development portfolios.
  • He is a bereaved dad, who lost his daughter at just under twenty weeks gestation

Steve Parbery

  • Director
  • Steve is currently Corporate Account Client Manager Toyota Material Handling Australia having also held senior National & Global Sales roles with Crown Equipment & NACCO(North American Coal Company Oregon) Materials Handling Group both in Australia & Asia. Steve has almost 30 years experience in Transport, Warehousing , Logistics & 3PL and won the Greg Montague Award in 2011 for outstanding service & support to the Cold & Refrigerated Supply Chain Industry.

Scott Walsh

  • Director, FCA
    BSc(Joint Hons)
  • Scott is a partner at PwC specialising in providing assurance and advisory services to clients in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. He is also People & Operations Leader for a business unit of 200 professionals.
  • Scott also served as Chairman and Treasurer of ICAEW Sydney Inc, a group established to provide relevant networking opportunities for members of the institute in NSW.


Thank you!

A big thanks to all of our donors and valuable supporters who have assisted us with our Time Out and In Hospital Support programs.

These include organisations such as ANZ Stadium, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney FC, Sydney Olympic Park Business Association, Sydney Roosters, NRL, NSW/AFL ACT, CPA Australia , Quest Apartments, Sydney Olympic Park, the DBCDE Social Committee, Top Ryde Early Learning Centre, RWTA, Waterford Wedgewood – and others.

We’d love to have the opportunity to thank you as well in the very near future!

If you would like to discuss any ways you can help or contribute to the progress of Pillars of Strength we would be delighted to hear from you.

Contact Us