About the Bowel Group For Kids : Bowel Group For Kids Inc

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About the Bowel Group For Kids
About the Bowel Group For Kids

About BGK

The Bowel Group for Kids (BGK) is the leading community-funded organisation in Australia dedicated to providing educational and emotional support to families of children born with Hirschsprung's disease, imperforate anus and associated conditions.

The BGK provides strategies and support to assist in improving the quality of life for young people living with a congenital bowel disorder.

The Bowel Group for Kids is a registered charity no. CFN 12693

Hirschsprung’s Disease and Anorectal Malformation

Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR) and Imperforate anus (ARM) are rare congenital (at birth) conditions that affect one in every 5000 live births.

When parents first learn that their child has been diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease or imperforate anus they are naturally distressed, it can be confronting to be faced with the uncertainty of conditions they may not have heard of before.

From that first moment to sharing the everyday challenges of bringing up a child with Hirschsprung's disease or imperforate anus, we are here to offer friendship, support, information and education.

BGK Vision and Mission


That all children born with an anorectal malformation or Hirschsprung's disease have the opportunity to be supported throughout their life by the BGK


For all parents of children born with a bowel disorder to be able to say "thank you for being here from the beginning"


Members events:

  • BGK annual conference held in Sydney and video-linked to other states
  • Short educational sessions held throughout the year at Sydney Children's Hospital Randwick, broadcast live on the BGK private Facebook site
  • Annual BGK events and social activities, state based
  • Networking support from experienced families caring for a child with HSCR/ARM
  • Some parents with the condition themselves are now sharing their experiences and those of their children
  • Fundraising through Everyday Hero

Online access to:

  • members within your state
  • practical articles to support children born with these conditions.
  • our private Facebook group for parents/carers and clinicians
  • our private Facebook site for young people with these conditions
  • Information packs for schools
  • Living with Hirschsprung's disease handbook
  • latest medical research
  • newsletters

We are very proud that our organisation has been actively supporting the children and the families with these conditions for over 20 years. We have a very strong professional body providing us with the latest most up to date and cutting edge information to support our children.

Our Goal

To be the first point of contact to support parents when their child has been diagnosed with one of these conditions.

Membership is open to new parents, grandparents, health professionals and anyone who has an interest in Hirschsprung's disease or imperforate anus.

The Team


The BGK was formed in 1996 by a group of parents and professionals who saw the need for a support group for children and families affected by Hirschsprung's Disease (HSCR) and Ano-Rectal Malformations/imperforate anus (ARM).

The current committee is made up of a dedicated group of individuals who give of their time generously and in a voluntary capacity. We currently receive no money from the Government and rely wholly on monies that we receive through donations, fundraising and membership fees.

Our members are Australia wide as well as in New Zealand, England, China and the USA.

Duncan ArmstrongPATRON - Duncan Armstrong

Duncan is highly qualified to advocate for us. He was born with Hirschsprung's disease so can speak from a personal and more recently a parental perspective following the birth of his fourth child who was also born with Hirschsprung's disease.

Olympian, sports presenter, public speaker - Duncan is all these things and more. Duncan approaches everything with the same zestful attitude - the very one that helped him win gold at the Seoul Olympics... and more recently inspires parents and their children to achieve their highest personal and health goals.

Medical Advisory Board

Professor David Croaker - Paediatric surgeon The Children's Hospital Canberra

President, Corporate Sponsorship and Conference Convenor - Julie Cowdery
I have the very rewarding task of being the president for the organization. My background has always been in Education and I have been working in the corporate sector as a Learning and Development manager for many years with responsibilities at an International and National level. It has been a wonderful experience being involved actively with the Bowel Group for Kids as I am constantly learning and gaining so much from the experience.

Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary - Eunice Gribbin
My interest in the association began many years ago due to a lack of information and support offered to families who had a child born with a severe bowel condition, such as Hirschsprung's disease or Imperforate anus.
I enjoy the opportunity to learn and being part of the association has allowed me to expand my knowledge in this area. I also treasure the many friends we have made since the association began.
Currently my work involves two roles; one being tutoring medical students at the School of Medicine, and the other clinical facilitator for Nursing students. In 2010, I began my research PhD at the School of Medicine at the Australian National University in Canberra, which has evolved from my experience within the BGK. The focus of my research is on "The long term follow-up of Hirschsprung's disease and the involvement of support groups". My aim is to prove the importance of support groups and develop a framework, which will see support groups become a vital member of the treating team.

State Coordinators

Qld - Lisa and Graeme Hogan
SA - Jake Bugden & Teresa Beltrame
Tasmania - Bronwyn and Ian Johnston
ACT - Lucy Davies
NSW - positions open
Victoria - position open
WA - position open


Although we have a diverse team of healthcare professionals on our committee, the information we provide is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The BGK will not offer medical advice nor suggest treatment options or referrals to particular healthcare professionals. Whilst the medical professionals provide all the complex medical and surgical advice, the BGK provides the strategies and support to assist in improving the quality of life for young people living with a congenital bowel disorder.


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