Bear Cottage was initiated by The Children's Hospital at Westmead in 1988 when Dr John Yu and Dr Michael Stevens heard of the developments in the UK and believed a similar facility would enhance the Hospital's palliative care program.
The site within St Patrick's Estate was found in 1995 and provided the opportunity to create a 'beach house' style facility. This is an ideal location for children with life limiting illnesses and their families to holiday and seek respite. The centre was built at a cost of 10 million, and was entirely funded by the community.
Bear Cottage was officially opened on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2001.