Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS/MND was a phenomenal social media campaign that swept the world in the last half of 2014. Its virality is attributed to Pete Frates, a former Boston College captain who is living with motor neurone disease (MND) in the US. Since Peter Frates posted his challenge online, the Ice Bucket Challenge quickly went viral, spreading to Australia in early 2014 and sparking the involvement of over 60,000 Australians.

Check our Ice Bucket Challenge FAQs page for more information about how our supporters' gifts are being spent to improve the lives of people living with MND in Australia.

The Ice Bucket Challenge in Australia

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is known as MND (motor neurone disease) in Australia. 

On 10 August the Ice Bucket Challenge reached Australian shores when Rod Harris, CEO of MND Victoria was nominated to complete the challenge by Rachel Patterson of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.

Since this first Australian drenching, staff members from MND Australia and  the state MND associations as well as  MND researchers and members of the MND community have taken up the icy challenge.

In Australia the Ice Bucket Challenge started to gain widespread publicity when Hamish McLachlan, host of Channel 7's Game Day completed the challenge on live to air TV. Hamish was challenged by Patrick Cunningham who together with his wife Angie conceptualised and initiated Laugh to Cure MND to raise money for the MND Research Institute of Australia. Angie  is living with MND. She played and worked on the Women's Tennis Tour for 15 years.

The timeline below shows the rise of the Ice Bucket Challenge in Australia during the peak time – August to September 2014.

Click on image to enlarge.


Ice Bucket Challenge in Australia timeline


Over 60,000 Ice Bucket Challenge supporters raised more than $3 million for MND Australia and the state MND associations. Read more about how these funds are being spent to improve the lives of all Australians living with MND.

We thank everyone who has got involved in this incredible awareness and fund raising activity. Thanks to you 2014 was a turning point for MND. Message from David Ali, President of MND Australia.


It's never too late to take a drenching for MND. The Ice Bucket Challenge rules


1. Fill a bucket (or larger container) with water and ice
2. Tip it over your head
3. Challenge three other people to take the Ice Bucket Challenge within 48 hours
4. If nominees don't take the Ice Bucket Challenge within 48 hours they make a donation to an MND charity.

Of course you can take the challenge AND make a donation and ask the people you nominate to do the same! 

1. Add your own personal touch by using a helicopter like Paul Bissonnette or creating a ice bucket tipper like Bill Gates.
2. Post your video/photos on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Use the hashtags #icebucketchallenge and #MND.
3. Post your video/photo on MND Australia's Facebook timeline or use @mndaustralia on Twitter.
2. Make a donation as well as taking the challenge like Taylor Swift.
3. Make a donation for each of your nominees who complete the challenge like Kevin Russo

How to get involved

Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

Take the Ice Bucket Challenge and challenge your friends and family to do the same.

Help support people living with MND and MND researchDonate button
MND Australia, the MND Research Institute of Australia and state MND associations can only continue thanks to the generous support of donors. We rely on donations for research and to provide information, awareness, advocacy and care for people living with MND. Donations of $2 and over are tax deductable.

Using the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of MND
Remember, the Ice Bucket Challenge is all about raising awareness, so don't forget to mention MND and share with your friends and followers! Below are some facts that you might like to include in your video.

Take care 
The Ice Bucket Challenge may not be suitable for small children, the elderly, anyone in poor health or animals of any kind, so please use good judgment and take appropriate care.

Please be thoughtful about water usage. If you’re in an area affected by drought, please consider making a donation instead, or recycle the water for later use.

Facts about MND 

  • MND is a progressive, terminal neurological disease
  • There is no known cure and no effective treatment for MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people die from MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people are diagnosed with MND 
  • People with MND progressively lose the use of their limbs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe, whilst their mind and senses usually remain intact
  • Average life expectancy is 27 months 
  • An estimated 1,900 people have MND in Australia 
  • For every person diagnosed with MND it is estimated that a further 14 members of their family and their friends will live with the effect of MND forever 

Who has taken the Challenge?


Just some of the famous people who have been ice bucketed: 

MND Australia and state MND association people


MNDRIA-funded researchers


Are you from the media?

If you would like to produce a story on MND, the Ice Bucket Challenge or speak to someone about the disease, please contact, 0408 461 932. Check our Media hub for the latest news or read MND Background Information Fact Sheet,which  provides a snapshot about MND.