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Hat Day is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health, one of Australia’s largest funding bodies of mental illness research. Established in 1981, Australian Rotary Health has contributed more than $33 million towards health research projects in areas such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and spinal injury.
Since 2000 our focus has been on mental health. More than four million Australians are affected by mental illness every year, while almost half of us will be affected in our lifetime. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 mental illness will be the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death in first world countries.
In recent years we’ve received hundreds of grant applications for research into mental health issues. Sadly, lack of funding has meant only 5% of those applications have received funding.
Hat Day is our way to increase that funding for this worthwhile and increasingly important health issue in our community.
Australian Rotary Health is a registered charity, conceived by Ian Scott, a Rotarian, and supported by Rotary Clubs in Australia. That said we’re not exclusive to Rotarians. We’re governed by an honorary Board of Directors and advised by an honorary Research Committee of eminent medical research professionals.
At the 2011 Australia Day Honours, our Chief Executive Officer Joy Gillett was awarded an OAM for service to the community.
Click here to go to the Australian Rotary Health website.