Our Story

Our founder’s story

For almost 30 years  Kids Under Cover has grown and adapted to changing needs, but the vision of our founder remains at the heart of everything we do.

Ken has long been recognised for his work in the motor industry and is a familiar face to many. A much loved and popular personality Ken’s public persona masks a very difficult past. Ken was a homeless teenager after his mother’s unexpected passing.

Still a teenager, Ken found himself sleeping on a park bench in Sydney’s Kings Cross. Woken by a local policeman on the early morning beat, Ken appeared dazed and confused. The officer took pity and sat down beside him. Three hours later Ken’s life had been changed forever. A complete stranger had taken time to show Ken there were people out there who really did care. Ken has never forgotten the message of hope delivered on that significant day.

In turning his life around, Ken continues to honour the commitment he made all those years ago to pursue philanthropic interests.

In 1989 the federal government released “Our Homeless Children – Report of the National Inquiry into Homeless Children” by Brian Burdekin. The disturbing findings moved Ken to raise the funds to build a house for homeless young mothers. This coupled with Ken’s passion to increase the support offered to young people facing homelessness instigated the birth of Kids Under Cover.

Ken has been a recipient of a Humanitarian Award from the Australian Humanitarian Foundation (2000), and the Centenary Medal (2003) for his services to the community – in particular youth homelessness.

Chair of the Variety Club (Vic) for four years, Ken also became a Variety Club National Board Member.

A Life Governor of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Ken was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2010. He received this award in recognition of his philanthropic work with sick children through the Royal Children’s Hospital and Variety Club Australia; and of course his work over the years in the fight against youth homelessness.

In 2015, Ken received the award for Automotive Dealer Contribution to Community at the Australian Automotive Dealer Association National Dealer Convention.

Although Ken retired from the Kids Under Cover Board in 2012, he remains devoted to ensuring Kids Under Cover’s continued success and growth and remains an active advocate for preventing youth homelessness.