LDAA Ambassador – Tanya Dupagne

Tanya has spent the past 15 years running youth activity programs for over 130,000 children and young people throughout the world. Her programs have been recognised at State, National and International level.

Tanya was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship that enabled her to travel to America to work alongside the top programs aimed at stopping generational cycles of domestic violence. In 2019 she was named as a Westpac Social Change Fellow, which recognises Australia’s top social innovators. She was able to return to America to spend time learning from some of the best summer camps in the world and undertake leadership and mentoring training at Harvard University.

Tanya was the 2017 Australian and Western Australian Rural Woman of the Year, and in 2019 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Edith Cowan University for her contribution to children and women throughout the world. She won the Constable Care Child Safety Awards, WA Children’s Awards and Premiers Active Citizenship Award, and was one of 5 Australians named on the Power 30 Under 30 list for Australasia. She was named as one of Australia’s 100 most influential women by the Australian Financial Review, one of WA’s 50 Rising Stars by the West Australian Newspaper, one of the National Rural Women’s Coalition’s Inspiring Women and one of Country Style Magazine’s Top 30 people in Regional Australia.

Tanya says her experience with Lyme disease is a ‘painful nightmare’ that doesn’t go away when she wakes. Even though she acquired Lyme in the US, an endemic country, she struggled for years to obtain a diagnosis in Australia. That was only the beginning of her frustration, as she soon realised the complexities of the disease’s status in her home country. The average time to diagnosis for patients in Australia is 10 years, and that delay limits patients’ options for a full recovery.

Tanya demands urgent action for Lyme patients in Australia. “Patients aren’t being put first,” she said. “We need change for people like me. Not in 5 years’ time, not in 10 years’ time, now, RIGHT NOW.”