Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week, 6–12 May 2018


The week of 6–12 May 2018 is nationally recognised as ‘Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week’.  The aim of the week is to increase awareness and raise the profile on what Tourette Syndrome is, and to ask for greater understanding and acceptance in the community to undo the social stigma created by misinformation.

So what is Tourette’s?  Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder that becomes evident in early childhood usually beginning between the ages of 2 and 21yrs and lasts throughout a person’s life.

It is characterised by rapid, repetitive and involuntary muscle movements and vocalisation calls “tics” and often also involves behavioural difficulties. Behaviour difficulties often associated with TS can include Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit and/or Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), poor school performance, depression, sleep difficulties, anxiety, rage, aggression and oppositional/defiant behaviour.

The cause of Tourette Syndrome is not known, however it is known to be a genetic condition.  Many people struggle to understand why people with TS are unable to stop their “tics” which often leads to bullying and teasing in schools, at social events, even on public transport.  

There is still a huge social stigma and exclusion that occurs due to lack of understanding around this disorder. Only through education, guidance and raising awareness of the disability is the first step in preventing bullying and the shame surrounding Tourette’s.  It can be a lonely and isolating condition and can consume families mentally and financially.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." – Atticus Finch “To Kill a Mockingbird”


For more information about Tourette Syndrome, please see their website Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia Inc.


Volunteering Queensland offers the below opportunities where you can support families with disabilities and your community:-

Odd Socks Day Events Coordinator, Holland Park

for Grow Qld

Odd socks day is a seriously fun day and a rather odd way to look at the stigma that surrounds mental illness and the barrier that it is to people seeking help and eventually recovering. This National Anti-Stigma campaign has been running for 5 years and last year reached 800,000 people between September and November. This year with your support our target is 1.3 million and a fundraising target of $60,000. Your donations will go to ‘stomping out the stigma surrounding mental health. 

Volunteer Program Assistant - A Place to Belong, West End

for Anglicare SQ

A Place to Belong is a small organisation working to build inclusion for people who experience mental health challenges. We do this by encouraging and developing the capacity of the community to welcome and include others.Our team in West End offer a number of supports to clients and to continue this essential service, we are looking for an organised and dedicated person to assist with the development of our Volunteer Program.

Group61 Volunteer, various locations

for Wesley Mission Queensland

Group61 is an initiative of Wesley Mission Queensland and they are committed to improving the lives of people living with mental health issues via their volunteer befriending program. Friends (people with a lived experience of mental illness) and volunteers meet regularly with the aim of reducing social isolation and as self-confidence and trust grow through their friendship, individuals are supported to rebuild social connections within their community.

Disability Employment Services Ambassador, various locations

for Epic Employment Services Inc

This Volunteer Role (DES) reports to the Regional Coordinator (RC). The purpose of the role is to assist individuals with disability, mental illness, injury or health conditions to maintain sustainable employment in the open labour market. The ambassador will provide person centred assistance that will vary depending on the individual needs of each participant to achieve greater social inclusion through workforce participation and training.

Volunteer - Asher House, Wynnum West

for Wesley Mission Queensland

Wesley Mission Queensland’s Asher House are currently seeking people interested in volunteering with our team to make a difference to the lives of our wonderful residents who are young adults living with high care needs.

Volunteer - Youngcare Apartments, Sinnamon Park

for Wesley Mission Queensland

Wesley Mission Queensland’s Youngcare Apartments at Sinnamon Park are currently seeking people interested in volunteering with our team to make a difference to the lives of our wonderful residents who are young adults living with high care needs.

More volunteering opportunities can be found on the Volunteering Queensland website at: