Highlights from Childhood Dementia Day 2023

20 September 2023 was Childhood Dementia Day and people around the world came together to make childhood impossible to ignore. The FACE it campaign saw people share photos of their faces made colourful with face paints, stickers, masks and makeup along with information on childhood dementia. 

Below are some highlights from Childhood Dementia Day.

Childhood dementia featured in Parliament

“Kids with dementia don't have time on their side. They need a cure which is why research, and ongoing research, is critical along with campaigns like FACE it.”

Nola Marino MP spoke in Parliament in the lead-up to Childhood Dementia Day to raise awareness of childhood dementia.
She profiled the impacts of childhood dementia to her colleagues, discussed the need to do more, and promoted Childhood Dementia Day. Nola also joined the FACE it campaign and posted a picture of her painted face.

Adults living with dementia FACED it

Adults, like Gwenda Darling (pictured), who are living with dementia joined in and FACED it. Gwenda is both a dementia and aged care advocate and an impressive spokesperson. On Childhood Dementia Day, she attended the Department of Health, Sirius Building in Canberra, as a member of the Council of Elders.

She attended as a unicorn so that she could be a part of the FACE it awareness push. 

She said: “Let's start talking about childhood dementia. I'm a unicorn as I believe we can find the cure."

We love that Gwenda shares her humour, wisdom and kindness to help people of all ages. Adults with dementia know what children face. They can articulate this in a way children can't. Childhood Dementia Day falls within Dementia Action Week. It was the perfect time to highlight that dementia affects people of all ages. 

Gwenda Darling

Unprecedented global media coverage

Broad TV, radio, print & online media coverage in September helped raise awareness of childhood dementia. Childhood Dementia Day was on 20 September 2023 and coverage of childhood dementia included online, TV and radio and spanned different languages and countries. 

Workplaces FACED it together

More workplaces than ever joined in and FACED it in 2023. From researchers to banks, real estate agents and even an MP -- everyone made their faces colourful, changed the world for kids with dementia, AND got on with their important jobs. 

  • One speech pathologist told us she thinks she told around 50 people about childhood dementia on Childhood Dementia Day
  • Westpac and St.George Bank staff in Australia's regional NSW & ACT branches wore stickers to start conversations within their local communities.
  • Researchers carried on with their work to find treatments for kids while also FACING it. 

We are in awe of everyone who made childhood dementia impossible to ignore. We haven’t covered everyone, of course, but those featured in pictures in this video are from:

  • Childhood Dementia Research Group at Flinders University 
  • Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT)
  • Illumina
  • Westpac / St.George
  • The Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre
  • Elders Lifestyle Group
  • Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation
  • The Florey Institute    
  • HammondCare
Also featured is Nola Marino MP, FACING it while working.

Creative makeup artists joined in

US-based makeup artist Carrie Esser from Makeup Madhouse encouraged her community to get involved by sharing her stunning work in early September. She was so motivated to help, she also created a makeup giveaway for those in her community who FACED it with her. The results were outstanding.

In Australia, The Face Paint Store, donated a prize  for the most creative FACE in the country as judged by the Childhood Dementia Initiative team.