annual report 2021-22


Associate Professor Des Graham

“Over the past year, MS Australia has continued its mission to improve the lives of people living with and affected by MS and supercharge funding for research toward the prevention, better treatments and a cure. MS Australia is stronger than ever and I have never felt more empowered, confident, or excited about our future.”

Associate Professor Desmond Graham


“It has been a big 12 months for MS Australia, with many key advocacy and research activities and events to mark MS Australia’s 50th year in 2022. We have also seen some significant milestones in pursuit of our mission to achieve a world free of MS and are looking to another big year ahead.”

Rohan Greenland


What is multiple sclerosis?

MS is the most common acquired chronic neurological disease affecting young adults, often diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 40 and, in Australia, affects three times more women than men. As yet, there is no cure. There is no known single cause of MS, but many genetic and environmental factors have been shown to contribute to its development. In MS, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the fatty material – called myelin – around the nerves. This results in a range of symptoms, but no two people experience MS in the same way.

64% of people with MS use a disease modifying therapy (DMT), an increase of 40% since 2010

Nearly 3 million people live with MS worldwide

More than 25,600 Australians live with MS

$1.75B was the estimated cost of MS to the Australian community in 2017

Average age of diagnosis is between 20-40 years

3 out of 4 Australians diagnosed with MS are women

MS affects more young adults than any other acquired chronic neurological disease

1-2 Australians are diagnosed with MS every day

Research at a glance

MS Australia continues to meet its research goals, working closely with researchers and other key partners and collaborators. Over the year we undertook and supported a breadth of projects toward the top MS research priority identified in our 2021 Research and Advocacy Priorities Survey: a cure via repair and regeneration.

Effects of MS on work productivity tracked to help foster wellbeing and job retention

MS researchers investigate how UV radiation suppresses autoimmunity

7 Incubator Grants funded for innovative MS research to support people living with MS

3,000 Australians participated in the MS Australia Research and Advocacy Priorities Survey

Our largest funding of research - more than $7M

$18M funding for MS research from the Medical Research Future Fund

20-year anniversary of Australian MS Longitudinal Study with 3,000 people sharing lived experience

MS Nurse Care in Australia Report launched

8th MS Australia Progress in MS Research Scientific Conference

advocacy at a glance

We continued to advocate for improved funding for MS research and sustained systemic policy change on behalf of the MS community. We put people with MS at the centre of all we do, alongside our resolve for supercharged research and advocacy through education and awareness and by influencing national policy. Seeking more funding for MS research, campaigning for a better NDIS, strengthening our partner collaborations, the release of a survey on employment and the workplace, and the launch of our MS Nurse Care Report were among our many key advocacy activities.

Proposed NDIS Independent Assessments scrapped after successful lobbying by MS Australia and others

15 submissions to the government and departmental inquiries and consultations

21 Parliamentary Friends of MS members

Funding for MS research and support for people living with MS

Sought election commitments to improve the lives of people living with MS

Released major survey on employment and the workplace

15 National Advocates with a combined 300 years’ lived experience

Jean Hailes’ Women’s Health Week 2021

Worked closely with the Parliamentary Friends of MS and supported key activities

15 Neurological Alliance Australia members

Awareness, education & engagement

Tokyo Paralympics 2020: 3 Australian athletes with MS worked with MS Australia to help raise awareness

1,430,855 social media impressions

31 ‘Meet the Researcher’ videos outline innovative MS research underway

405,263 total website visitors

MS Australia wins MS Brain Health Award 2022

MS Nurse Care in Australia Report released

3,000 Australians take part in MS Australia Research and Advocacy Priorities Survey

Employment and Workplace survey results launched to support people living with MS

fundraising at a glance

MS Australia’s mission is to achieve a world free of MS, improve the lives of people living with and affected by MS and supercharge funding for MS research toward the prevention, better treatments and a cure. Raising funds for MS research involves a very generous and motivated Australian community through our major fundraising activity, The May 50K, alongside other donation platforms, events and significant contributions from our MS Member Organisations, with whom we work closely.

$3.6M raised for MS research by The May 50K In 2022

25,100 Participants in The May 50K 2022

$414 raised for MS research by the average May 50K 2022 participant

$18M raised for MS research in Australia since The May 50K launched in 2019

$76K received from Gifts in Wills

$1.6M received from general donations and other fundraising

$403K raised from MS Australia Progress in MS Research Scientific Conference ticket sales and sponsorship

$10M for MS research contributed by our state and territory MS Member Organisations

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Annual Report 2021-2022