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18 July 2023

Why did I create The Magic Coat?

In life, there are moments that shape our destinies and call us to embark on transformative journeys. For the Magic Coat Foundation, it all began with a resolute decision—to make a difference in the lives of children facing emotional challenges. 

Against the backdrop of professional advice and a winding career path, the Foundation’s founder Di Wilcox forged a path dedicated to nurturing young hearts and minds. 

This blog post takes you on a heartfelt journey, revealing the inspirations, the challenges, and the enduring mission that led to the creation of The Magic Coat. 

Choosing a Different Path

Leaving school, Di Wilcox faced an uncertain future. The advice she received was not to pursue a teaching degree due to the lack of job prospects. Instead, she embarked on a journey of learning, earning a Bachelor of Social Science in Women and Children’s Studies. The academic pursuit was fulfilling, but her heart yearned to become a teacher, so she pushed forward and obtained her Diploma of Education, despite the discouragement.

The Start of Her Teaching Career

Di’s teaching career began in a remote, rural area called Gillingarra, marking the start of two decades dedicated to nurturing young minds. She cherished the daily connections with “her” kids. Yet, as time passed, she began to witness more and more children who were emotionally wounded.

A Heartbreaking Memory

One heartbreaking memory from her tenure at a prestigious school in Melbourne lingers in her heart. During recess, a group of children rushed to her in distress. One of their eight-year-old peers had brought a knife to school, unleashing a terrifying frenzy of violence upon the classroom smartboard. His rage was astonishing.

She recalls intervening swiftly, pinning him down to retrieve the knife. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but this child lay sobbing and drained on the classroom floor. Di later discovered that his father, a prominent surgeon, had scheduled his day with back-to-back demands. Six hours of school, three more of studying, a piano lesson, and then straight to bed, leaving no room for him to simply be a child. The pressure had taken its toll, driving him to the extreme.

The Birth of The Magic Coat Program

The sight of an eight-year-old crumbling under the weight of such expectations broke Di’s heart. Over the years, children shared their stories of domestic violence, hunger, isolation, and self-loathing. Some even expressed a desire to escape it all. Then, one day, she decided enough was enough. Di resolved to simplify cognitive behaviour therapy for young children, and thus, The Magic Coat Program was born.

A Tool for All Children

The Magic Coat became a tool for all children, transcending boundaries of race, religion, gender, and socioeconomic status. The Magic Coat Foundation ensures vulnerable children do not fall through the cracks. Programs are run in hospitals, disadvantaged schools, remote areas, prisons, foster care, and other not-for-profits. It’s a network of care and support that spans far and wide.

A Team with Big Hearts

What makes The Magic Coat truly magical is the incredible team of people with the biggest hearts who have rallied together to make it grow. It exists to empower every child to become confident, calm, and compassionate individuals. 

A World of Boundless Possibilities

In the world of The Magic Coat, there are no barriers, only boundless possibilities. It aims to make a difference to the lives of children and help them find the strength to face their challenges with courage and resilience.

If you would like to know more about The Magic Coat and the programs on offer please click here.

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