Children deserve access to the very best care available. At Operation Smile Australia that’s what we believe, that’s where we start.

Not every country or community around the world is the same. That's why we work with local medical professionals, governments, hospitals and other NGOs to create various models of surgical care. Together, we determine which solutions work best in order to reach as many children as possible wherever we work. And we’re going to keep doing this and refining our approach as we move forward. All with the goal to give the most effective surgical care to patients worldwide. Because at the end of the day, it starts with the patient. It starts with the child.



Each year, Operation Smile Australia conducts cleft as well as craniofacial medical missions in locations around the world. Every one of those locations is unique. In some places, we have to import medical equipment. In some places, we have to import medical expertise. But in every location, we work with local health providers to deliver patients care in their own culture and in their own language.



Operation Smile Australia is also proud to run the World Care Program. World Care patients are identified at screenings on our cleft and/or craniofacial missions. These patients are referred onto our World Care Program as their conditions are very complicated and the treatment required generally cannot be undertaken in their home country. Due to the complexity of the treatments required, patients are brought to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, to receive the best surgical treatment possible


Sometimes our patients require a relatively simple surgical procedure. Sometimes care is more complex. Operation Smile Australia recognises that the need for care doesn't stop when a medical mission ends. So wherever possible, we've established centres to ensure we can continue year-round care for patients who require comprehensive or more complex treatment than a single medical mission can provide.



The exact cause of cleft remains unknown and Operation Smile Australia  is trying to find the answers. But our research also needs to identify new ways of delivering surgical care. We need to listen to patients and really understand what prevents them from accessing care so we can break down those obstacles for children and families who need surgery.


Training and education isn't just something we do – it's at the heart of everything we do. It happens on every engagement through the exchange of ideas and knowledge among our medical specialists from diverse backgrounds with varied levels of expertise. Together we have the same goal: improve how surgical care is delivered while empowering local communities.


Operation Smile Australia has been committed to increasing access to surgical services for more than three decades and our patients are a testament to that. But there are patients who still need help. In alignment with the World Health Organization, we believe that safe, well-timed surgery is a basic service that should be accessible to all families and it’s our responsibility to advocate for their right to surgical services.



"We strive for a world where no child suffers the risks and uncertainties of a facial deformity."

- Richard Lewandowski, Plastic Surgeon, Co-Founder Operation Smile Australia