Janette Connolly is the chief executive of Variety the Children’s Charity, which provides support through grants for children and families who need items such as wheelchairs, communication devices and educational aides. Ms Connolly, of Hoppers Crossing, has been with the organisation for 14 years, after starting as a board member in 2005.

How did you become involved with the Variety, the Children’s Charity?

I was working for Mike Brady, the singer songwriter of Up There Cazaly fame, who was a board member at the time … he introduced me to Variety the Children’s Charity. I volunteered at a few events and saw the great work that the charity did and was hooked.

What do you enjoy most about your role with Variety?

Working for Variety the Children’s Charity has been the most rewarding job I have held. Knowing that the funds we raise go to assist families – through a very transparent granting process – makes all the hard work worthwhile. I’ve seen children’s lives change with the aid of a piece of equipment that Variety provided and I’ve seen children take their first steps and communicate with their parents for the very time.

Does Variety have any upcoming projects or fundraisers you would like to encourage people to support?

Our next fundraising appeal commences in May, in support of our annual Variety Children’s Christmas Party, which was established in 1986, making it the longest-running party of its kind. Purely run by Variety for Variety, the party enables children who are living with illness, disability or disadvantage to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas with their families. Bringing together 5000 children, 3000 carers and 500 volunteers, the party is quite a spectacle. We are always looking for both individual and small business supporters for this iconic event and we encourage any local businesses from Wyndham to get in touch to see how they can get involved.

Details: variety.org.au/vic