Group photo of Aussie Hands members

About Us

Aussie Hands was founded in October 2000.

The Founder and Vice-President of the Foundation, Elizabeth Serpell, talks about the beginnings:

“When my second son David was born in 1999, amongst the joy of having a second son, part of me was saddened by his right hand missing his three middle fingers. When David was 4 months old we met with a hand surgeon who told us that his condition was called ‘symbrachydactyly’. David had a hand operation when he was 10 months. His thumb had a lower bone missing, so a bone was taken out of his right middle toe and fused into his thumb.

My family joined a support group called Limbkids Vic/Tas which focussed on children’s upper and lower limb differences.

In early 2000, I decided to start a local Aussie support group for people with hand differences, as most hand support groups were located either in the UK or USA. By 2005, a website was established and since then membership has been slowly increasing around Australia.

Every year, the Foundation organises more events nationally which brings so many new families together to share their inspirational stories.

Meet Dave

“I am so proud of my son Dave who is now a young teenager.”
— Elizabeth Serpell

When Elizabeth started the foundation, she had four goals in mind – the same guiding principles at the core of all the foundation’s activities today:

  • to provide support, understanding and encouragement to parents, children, teenagers and adults with a hand difference
  • to provide a forum for discussion for people with a hand difference
  • to raise the awareness of hand differences in the community
  • to provide a library of hand difference resource material.

Aussie Hands current project is to work with leading Hand Surgeons from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne to establish a registry of births identifying congenital hand anomalies.

Funds towards this data audit project are needed to develop and maintain the registry which will provide answers to some of these crucial questions:

  • (i) How many children are born with a hand difference?
  • (ii) What is the cause of the hand difference?
  • (iii) How prevalent is the condition?

Those with a hand difference and the people close to them have a strong connection to Aussie Hands and this makes it worthwhile to continue to grow the Foundation so that there is an understanding of hand differences, acceptance and support by the wider Australian community — which is important.

Find Out More About Us

Our Accomplishments

View our Annual Reports

Our Brochure

View the Aussie Hands brochure (2MB)