Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project – Australia

The Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project (formerly known as the Worldwide Lyme Protest) is an important event in the history of Lyme disease around the world. It is the ultimate characterization of patients' continued fight for recognition, appropriate diagnostics and treatment. For all the history behind the WWLAP and the inaugural event please visit Karen Smith's Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project website here.

Australia again took part in the WWLAP (which also included a name change) in 2014. The mission of this year's campaign was again to raise awareness of the crippling and some cases fatal disease. For all the details about the events check-out the summaries below:


Gladstone - Coles/KmartGladstone - New Auckland PlaceCairnsYandina

Event Location: Coles/Kmart shopfront, Gladstone

Date: 18 and 25 May 2014

Event organiser: Leah Tedman

Summary: Leah hosted two awareness stalls outside Coles/Kmart in Gladstone. Locals were tempted with a BBQ, fundraising merchandise and a craft stall featuring the creations of Lymies from all around Australia, and residents of  New Auckland Place nursing home.

Leah says “We were blessed to have so many helpers from the workplaces of my husband and I.”

Not only did each BBQ raise over $1000, it also raised awareness. Leah explains “The general public was extremely interested in Lyme -  we came across so many people who had either had a tick bite and an illness since, or knew someone who had.”

Event Location: New Auckland Place Nursing Home, Gladstone

Date: 1-31 May 2014

Event organiser: Leah Tedman (again!)

Summary: Leah’s workplace, New Auckland Place nursing home, promoted Lyme awareness all month. Throughout May, an awareness stall sold crafts, many of which were made by residents. Leah marvelled “One resident, Edna, crocheted over 500 butterflies!”

A raffle was run, and both residents and families shared brochures with the greater community, including their pharmacies and hairdressers.

Leah says “The support was incredible -  we were continuously running out of brochures and info to hand out!”

Special thanks must go to Lindy Fry Mitchell who helped coordinate and run the month's events and to Vanessa and Lawrence Clark who organised raffle prizes and helpers for the BBQ.

Event Location: Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser: Tanya Chapman

Summary: Organiser Tanya reports “The Cairns 2014 event was wet…VERY WET!  We had an awesome location this year at the Lorikeet BBQ Facility right next to the Lagoon and the weekly markets, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t really on our side.  It started out quite nice, then we were hit with about 2 1/2 hours of very heavy rain.

Eventually the weather started to clear and the smell of sausages and onions sizzling away drew in a small crowd of brave souls.  Despite the slow start,  we managed to sell about 100 sausages and all  of the cupcakes that Jackleys Bakery donated!

I did speak to lots of interested people, some who were very aware of Lyme but didn’t know it was possible to contract it here in Australia. Others took the information and are now looking into it as a possibility for their own ill health.  All up, the day was a success in terms of awareness  - and we raised over $400 too!”

Event location:  Yandina, QLD

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser:  Lisa Stafford

Summary:   Lisa arranged a screening of multi-award winning Lyme documentary ‘Under Our Skin’ at the local School of Arts Hall.

The attendees got well and truly into the spirit of the event, dressing in lime-coloured clothing. They also enjoyed a speech by the Lyme Disease Association of Australia’s President, Sharon Whiteman.

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New South Wales

Centennial ParkCoffs HarbourCoffs Harbour and BellingenPenrithBegaUminaYamba

Event Location: Centennial Park, Sydney

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser: Michelle and Steve Kelly

Summary: Event organiser Michelle says “A fabulous bunch of 60+ people met for the Walk of Hope.

From the get-go, people were keen to come together, share stories and just chat. The setting created a relaxed atmosphere. The first part of the day, our ‘meet and greet’ session, carried on for much longer than was planned! We couldn’t stop everyone talking once they all started!

I officially welcomed everyone and spoke a little about the event. Next we all gathered for a group photo. The purpose of this photo was to demonstrate the impact of Lyme disease in the Sydney area. We managed to get some great group pics and several other great pics from the day too.

In groups of 10, people then set off on their (optional) walk around the park. Some completed the entire 3.5 km course - well done guys - while others completed smaller sections

At the central meeting point, we displayed information, brochures, merchandise, balloons and collection tins. The general public were able to read about Lyme disease and several people approached us to have a chat too. Proceeds from the day went to The Lyme Disease Association of Australia and The Karl McManus Foundation.

A huge thanks to everyone who attended - You were absolutely awesome and you all made the day so wonderful! We hope we can make it even bigger and better next year!"

Event location:  The Palms Centre Mall, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Dates:  17 May 2014

Event organisers:  Sara Walker and Lynne Rees of ‘Lymelinks’ and Natalie and Steve Young

Summary:   The Coffs Coast is considered a ‘hot spot’ for Lyme, so this event was perfectly placed, in a busy local shopping mall.

The organisers arranged an information and merchandise stall, complete with an eye-catching ‘Lyme Lives Here’ poster and an inflatable tick!

Passionate Lyme campaigner Steve Young delivered a speech that was very well received by the audience.

Congratulations to everyone involved, for hosting a successful event for the second year running!

Event location:  Coffs Harbour and Bellingen, NSW

Dates:  17 May 2014

Event organiser:  Dianne Rae

Summary:   Dianne contributed to raising awareness in the Coffs Harbour region in a number of ways. She says “This year I was honoured to pay back to the cause by holding a stall on behalf of the Lyme Awareness Arts And Craft Group. I received (donations of) crocheted butterflies from Lindy and Leah that had been made by many people who had donated their time and efforts to contribute to the cause. I sold quite a few of these which wonderful to see.

I myself baked some cupcakes and made up milk plastic bottles filled with green lollies, which I sold quite a few of, too.

Due to another event being held in the area on the same day, we were quite low in the general public attendance, which it made fundraising difficult. But we were still ecstatic by the amount donated, and just as important (if not more), was the awareness raised with the people passing by or listening to Steve Young’s speech about Lyme.”

Dianne also contacted local shops in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen to ask that they light up their shopfronts in green, to promote Lyme awareness, in line with the ‘Lymelight’ campaign. Whether they were able to join the campaign or not, many of these shops offered to donate prizes, so Dianne took advantage of the opportunity to establish a raffle, which she says was  “the biggest hit and money raiser.”

Some businesses displayed LDAA brochures at Dianne’s request, and reported back to her that the brochures were “picked up by curious customers, often enough with people saying they had been bitten by ticks many of times and (that) they had some of the symptoms listed”

Dianne exclaimed “I am just amazed and excited by the prospect of how many people were made aware and how many lives may have been saved along the way - that was the main initiative and I was so happy to see that it worked!”

Event location:  Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW

Date:  16 May 2014

Event organiser:  Sue Sherrat

Summary:   Sue hosted this year’s only protest event, which took place outside Nepean Hospital in Penrith (on the outskirts of Sydney).

As you can see, the event was well attended, and the team certainly had a presence!

Crafts and merchandise was on sale, and speeches were given by Sue, Mualla McManus of The Karl McManus Foundation, Mal Pace, Lana Brown and Sam.

Journalist Wes Taylor, who also attended last year’s Sydney protest event, came along – it’s very gratifying to have ongoing media interest!

Event location: Bega, NSW

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser: Jacqui

Summary: Attendee Sandra reports: "A team of 7 NSW Far South Coast Lyme T-Shirt wearing warriors hosted an evening screening of (multi-award winning documentary) ‘Under Our Skin’ in a local school hall.

A huge thank you to Jacqui for presenting the movie and also sharing her own family's story (despite having a feverish ‘little Lymie’ at home).

Lovely Lyme balloons and ‘supper and cuppa’ tables adorned the back of the hall, alongside a table of beautiful Lyme teddies, bumper stickers, information brochures, donation boxes etc.

32 attendees came out on a cold autumn night to watch the movie, all leaving knowing at least one important piece of information - tick bite prevention. Many stayed on to sup, chat and gather information.

A great team effort (including those there in spirit) resulted in a great night.

Thank you to Jacqui and Nurk for doing publicity through local papers & radio."

Event location:  Woolworths Umina, NSW

Dates:  17 May 2014

Event organiser:  Mary Temple

Summary:   2014 saw the NSW Central Coast’s first ever Lyme awareness event – and it was so successful, we definitely expect to see another one next year!

The awareness stall featured cupcakes, balloons, merchandise, brochures – and some friendly Lymies (Mary, Clare, Jacqueline, Paul and Catherine). No wonder the community embraced it!

$250 was raised through cupcake sales alone, and many customers walked away with a much better understanding of Lyme.

Bonds were also made - we love this story that Mary shared with us, in relation to the second photo: "The beautiful lady in middle of the first photo is 82 and she has Lyme disease. Her daughter approached us and told us, then went home just to bring her mother back to talk to Clare and I while she went into Woolies to do her shopping!”

Event location:  Yamba, NSW

Date:  17 May 2014

Event organiser:  Dianne Ellis

Summary:   Passionate surfer and Lyme patient Di arranged a screening of a locally made Lyme documentary at her local cinema. Speeches were also made by five healthcare providers ( a nurse, a chiropractor, a dentist, a homeopath and a naturopath), four of whom has assisted in Di’s recovery.

An enjoyable and informative time was had by all!

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Western Australia

ApplecrossPerth Cultural CentreWillettonKojonup

Event Location: Pharmacy 777, Applecross

Date: 12-17 May 2014

Event organiser: Jenni Fielder

Summary: Thanks to Jenni, all 40 of Pharmacy 777’s staff wore Lyme awareness shirts (donated by the LDAA) to work in the week leading up to the official Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project weekend.  Even the ‘Sleep Apnoea’ dummy showed his support!

Staff also decorated the pharmacy with balloons, sold Lyme awareness wristbands, handed out over 300 pamphlets, displayed a fundraising tin for donations, and proactively spoke to many customers about Lyme disease.

Thank you, to Pharmacy 77 for your support, and to Jenni for such a great idea.

Event Location: Perth Cultural Centre, Perth

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser: Ailsa Burgess and Leanne Downie

Summary: Organiser Ailsa reports: “Perth held our second annual Lyme disease awareness day in 2014. With the ongoing support of the Perth Cultural Centre, we had a wonderful venue and great turn out.

It was the only sunny day for weeks, which saw many coming for a leisurely stroll in the sun being caught up in the fun! We had face painting, balloons, lucky dips, craft, a huge raffle and of course information on Lyme.

We also had a visit from Jonny Taylor. We handed out almost 2000 pamphlets and talked to hundreds of people. We had a screening of Lyme documentary ‘Under Our Skin’ on the big outdoor screen, which was watched my many

Three buildings lit up green for us this year as they did last year; Council House, the Bell Tower and the Perth Cultural Centre.

I would like to recognise the Chrysalis support group for all their help; many hands made light work, so thank you!”

Event location:  Southlands Shopping Centre, Willetton, WA

Dates:  17 May 204

Event organiser:  Jeni Taylor

Summary:   Jeni was one of the few organisers who does not suffer from Lyme, or have an immediate family member who does – we are so thrilled to enjoy the support of healthy members of the general community!

Jeni and her team hosted an awareness stall featuring plenty of information, some crafts, and a raffle to draw in the crowds. They also held a cake stall earlier in the week.  Thanks to everyone for their involvement!

Event location: Kojonup, WA

Dates: 16-18 May 2014

Event organiser: Sue

Summary: Kojonup is a small town in Western Australia with a relatively high Lyme population of at least 6 people.

We are sure they all appreciated the effort Sue went to in arranging for local businesses to decorate their shopfronts in green, for Lyme awareness. In the evenings, the stores used green light globes to demonstrate their ongoing support.

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Federation Square

Event location:  Federation Square, Melbourne, Vic

Dates:  17 May 2014

Event organisers:  Sue McFarlane and David Trathen

Summary:   This is the second year running that a Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project event has been held at Federation Square – and this year was as hugely successful as the last!

Sue says “We had beautiful sunshine and with many other events going on in Federation Square on the day, the city was thriving with people.

Around 1500 flyers were handed out, and many people stopped to read the information boards and chat with Lyme sufferers. The information desk was busy all day with enquries about where to get tested, doctor availability, the disease and symptoms, etc.

Approximately 150 Lyme sufferers, family and friends attended – they all looked great in their green T-shirts and green dress ups; we were well supported.

The day went very quickly with so much activity.  The children enjoyed face painting, balloon handouts, and playing around on the large grassy area.  Merchandise and crafts donated by the Lyme community were sold out, and many helpers walked around the city collecting donations. There were also photo shoots, musicians and a unicylist. (A special thanks to Affinity Photography, who contributed some of the photos of this event.)

As part of the Lymelight campaign, Federation Square lit up beautifully in green at night over the weekend, coinciding with an information DVD showing on the big screen.

All who came along and helped out, and supported us, enjoyed the day in good spirit.

Our main aim for holding this event was to raise awareness and reach out to people who may be afflicted with this awful disease and not realize it even exists.

Thank you to everyone who attended on the day, you have helped a lot of people. Soon after this weekend the Victorian Lyme disease community had a steady influx of people wanting to know more and have since tested positive to Lyme disease and co-infections.

Well done EVERYONE!!!!!”

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South Australia

Clarence Park

Event location:  Clarence Park, SA

Date: 17 May 2014

Event organiser:  Simone Hadad

Summary:   Simone recognised the Worldwide Lyme Awareness Project weekend this year with an awareness event in Clarence Park, including a BBQ, picnic and fundraising.

Thanks Simone for pulling the event together at short notice!

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