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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Page: 3096

Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:45): On 26 March it is International Purple Day, celebrating and supporting epilepsy awareness across the world. There are more people living with epilepsy than with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease and motor neurone disease combined. Close to half a million Australians will be affected by epilepsy at some point in their life. Yet, due to misconceptions and social stigma, many people do not disclose their condition, leading to a low level of community awareness.

In 2008, a nine-year-old who was suffering from epilepsy, Cassidy Megan, founded International Purple Day in a grassroots effort to increase epilepsy awareness worldwide, to encourage people to talk about their epilepsy and to inform those who live with seizures that they are not alone. Epilepsy Action Australia is Australia's national provider of education and support services for people with epilepsy, their families and the community. I am proud that their head office is located in Bennelong, directly behind my electorate office, and I strongly support their great work for epilepsy sufferers around Australia.

On 26 March, I will be joining Epilepsy Action Australia to launch a series of activities for International Purple Day. I encourage all MPs to host a fundraising event to promote plain-clothes day activities in local schools and businesses on 26 March to build awareness of one of the world's most common serious brain conditions.