Fairy sprinkles magic for an OAM


A real-life fairy who visits sick children in hospital and a magazine design stylist are among the Sydneysiders recognised with Queen’s birthday honours.


Children’s hospital volunteer Fairy Sparkle and stylist, food writer and interior designer Babette Hayes have both been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

In the early 1990s Ms Sparkle left her job in IT, changed her name by deed poll and became a full-time volunteer at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

“I followed my passion,” she said.

“I just love it. This is my life’s work.”

As well as providing support for sick children and their families, Ms Sparkle has also built a garden at Sydney Children’s Hospital with a group of volunteers.

“It’s not only for patients, it’s also for their families,” she said.

“They can feel safe and happy and get some sort of peace in the garden.”

Ms Sparkle said she never anticipated receiving an award as she tries to stay under the radar.

Fellow recipient Ms Hayes believes she was in the right place at the right time when she came to Australia in 1964.

The 77-year-old has been honoured for her services to interior design and Australian cuisine as an author.

French-born, she grew up in England where she styled the interiors of English House and Garden and Good House Keeping and wrote cooking columns for Queen Magazine and The Telegraph.

She moved to Australia in the mid 1960s with her husband and young daughter and found plenty of work as local magazines were just starting to consider styling.

“It was perfect timing,” she said.

Comments are closed.