Australian landmarks light up purple in support of people living with Crohn’s and Colitis

Shine a Light on World IBD Day – 19 May

Australia, 16 May 2024 – This World IBD Day, towns and cities around Australia are joining the global movement to highlight the experiences of those living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). World IBD Day brings people together in their fight against ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – collectively referred to as IBD.

Nearly 90 landmarks around the country will light up purple on Sunday evening as part of the ‘Shine A Light- World IBD Day’ movement. The list includes iconic sites like the GABBA in Brisbane, Camperdown Memorial Park in Sydney, the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and Trafalgar bridge in Perth. Each state and territory has multiple landmarks that will turn purple for the evening as part of the campaign. You can see the full list here.

In Australia, it’s estimated that 8,000-10,000 young people under the age of 18 are living with these incurable diseases. That’s why Crohn’s and Colitis Australia (CCA) are putting the spotlight on kids and teenagers who are living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

An Australian government funded research project led by CCA found that care is not tailored to the needs of young people living with IBD, with more than a third of young people (38.3%) not being referred to a paediatric gastroenterologist upon first suspicion of IBD. The survey also found that the system is not equipped to deal with the psychological burden IBD can impose on young people. The risk of mood or anxiety disorder among youth in this research was substantial (50.8%) yet 62.4% of young people surveyed reported no query about their mental health from a health professional in the last year.

Leanne Raven, CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Australia (CCA) said this World IBD Day will be crucial in making people aware of the gaps in the healthcare system.

“What we’re seeing is that young people are really struggling to even get a diagnosis in the first place. And when they finally are diagnosed, the system is geared towards the treatment of adults which makes it much harder for young people to manage their disease and get educated.

“IBD is disruptive to the lives of young people when they are in critical stages of their development and education. Not only are the physical health effects impacting their quality of life, but the mental health impacts mean that kids and teenagers are fighting a huge uphill battle.

“Our healthcare system doesn’t cater to the needs of young people and we’re calling for policy changes to address gaps in accessibility to multidisciplinary healthcare teams, psychological support, the availability of educational resources and access to prompt advice, specialist review, and procedures.

“We’re grateful for the support of all the ‘Shine a Light’ sites that will light up on 19 May. This is crucial support that brings visibility to these diseases and, quite literally, helps to shed light on the experience of those living with IBD. It’s shows of support like this that bring us one step closer to finding a cure,” said Ms Raven.

Anyone diagnosed with Crohn’s or colitis can join CCA, a community that understands. To learn more, visit or call 1800 138 029.

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Tiarna Adams

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