Event on 12 May, 2017

May Awareness 2017

Media coverage; Badge Day; #LightUpTheNight; #MillionsMissing; #SockItToME; and more.


2017 May Awareness/2017#SockItToME Hendon  Aidan and Teacher Ms Quinn 2

On May12th International ME/CFS Awareness Day, students at Hendon Primary School stepped out in their crazy socks to raise awareness and fundraise for ME/CFS, and to say #SockItToME!

The students spoke about ME/CFS at an assembly earlier in the week. They were extremely creative in their crazy sock designs and were excited to wear them to mark the day.

Full report, photos and background to the event

Badge Day

2017 May Awareness Adelaide Central Plaza 1 Badge Day David Pisoni Tweet
Concordia College students with David Pisoni MP and Penelope McMillan

This year our Badge Day was held at Adelaide Central Plaza in the heart of the city, from 11:30 - 2:30 pm, with our volunteers located both at the North Terrace entrance and the Rundle Mall entrance to the Food Court.

Thank you to the Year 9 Concordia College students for their wonderful support in collecting for us. Their enthusiasm and engaging smiles meant that it was a very successful day.

Many thanks to Concordia Student Welfare Worker, Jason Kupke, for all his work in making this happen. Jason took the opportunity to speak about ME/CFS at their Friday assembly and also organised for us to have a Q & A with the students before Badge Day, so they were able to speak about the illness to members of the public while collecting.

The support from Concordia has been terrific and we are very grateful for their generosity and willingness to help our community, not only in raising funds, but also in much needed awareness of the realities of living with this illness.

David Pisoni MP met with the students to lend support and start the day off . We appreciate his ongoing support.

We are very grateful to Adelaide Central Plaza, Adhesive Labels and Coffee Club for their generous support of our organisation; and Kim Lawless who organised the location for the day; and to our volunteers, Jane, Sarah, Sue and John.

Our Badge Day was promoted on Facebook, and photographs were loaded to Facebook after the event.


2017 May Awareness/Fashion Parade MM Shoes 9

In collaboration with ME Action Network Australia and advocates from around the country, this online campaign highlighted those missing from their lives, using poignant images of empty shoes in everyday locations.


2017/2018 May Awareness  Adl Town Hall 2018 edited

Beginning in 2014, iconic buildings and landmarks around the globe have been lit up blue to mark May 12th, International ME/CFS Awareness Day.

2017’s #LightUpTheNight kicked off in South Australia with SA Power Network’s digital billboard lighting the way for the entire month. Located on the corner of Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road, over 45,000 motorists pass by the sign daily.

This year the Adelaide Town Hall joined our list of SA buildings participating in the event.

Thank you to our ongoing supporters.

From three Australian locations lit up in 2015 and 10 buildings in 2016, this year there were 24 locations.

Thank you to ME/CFS and Lyme Association of WA Inc and colleagues around Australia for their collaboration in growing the Australian arm of this global event.

Adelaide Oval, 11 May

The following slide appeared on the Adelaide Oval Telstra screens roughly every 9 minutes all day and through the night, and on the Totem screens located outside the Plaza.

Adelaide Town Hall, 12 May
SA power Networks, all of May
Australian locations
2017 May Awareness LUTN 2017 collage

Image courtesy of Used with permission.

Media coverage

Community Radio 1197 RPH Adelaide

On Saturday 6 May, Peter Greco interviewed our President, Penelope McMillan, about May Awareness and all that is happening in Adelaide and around Australia during International ME/CFS Awareness month.

2016/2017 May Awareness Hon Kelly Vincent MLC headshot 2015

Hon Kelly Vincent MLC shared about ME/CFS in her Facebook post on 12 May.

Senator Scott Ludlam also shared about ME/CFS on his Facebook page on 12 May.

Federal Parliament

On 10 May, Senators Claire Moore (Qld) and Nick Xenophon (SA) presented a Statement in the Senate acknowledging ME/CFS Awareness Day.

Parliament of Australia: Hansard link, or Hansard (PDF 28 KB)

Unrest premiere

2017 May Awareness Unrest crowd 2
Courtesy asbcreative

Our biggest awareness event for the year was held in November, when 300 people gathered to watch the award-winning documentary, Unrest.

Full report and photos

Previous years

Background to May12th

May Awareness Florence Nightingale 960x 960

In 1992, 12 May was chosen as the international awareness day for ME/CFS as it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of public health and the founder of modern nursing, who suffered for decades with an ME/CFS-like illness.

Florence contracted what was called 'Crimean Fever' whilst serving in the Crimean War. After returning home at the age of 38, she spent the next 50 years homebound and bedridden, achieving her later work from the confines of her bed.

May Awareness: & other Ribbons 960 x 960 grey Back

In 1995, a blue ribbon was adopted to represent ME/CFS.

Last edited: 15 May, 2022