Young and old, we encourage everyone in our community who’d like to see positive change for type 1 diabetes to get involved in the JDRF Advocacy program. By reaching out to today’s political decision makers we can help them to understand what life is like with T1D, and have an opportunity to get their support.
Our JDRF Government Advocacy team of two, Suz and Mel, works closely with our community of advocates, aiming to cover the 150 federal electorates nationally. We currently have advocates connected to around 80% of the country’s MPs! Late last year, the hardworking team came up with a great idea to extend our reach: “If our community members, including kids, can go talk to their local MP, why can’t we all?”
Imagine the firepower if JDRF’s 40 staff, one dozen board members and a few dozen more volunteers from our state senior leadership committees add their voices to the effort too.
And so, Government Week was born!
In April, all JDRF staff members will be out and about, meeting with local politicians, spreading the word about JDRF and what we do and what we are hoping they will do!
Understandably, for some of our staff who work behind the scenes to keep JDRF running smoothly, meeting with a local MP was something completely left-field. But everyone got to work attempting to secure meeting with their very busy local MP or Senator, which can sometimes take a few attempts.
Kathleen, our wonderful Assistant Accountant, is admittedly more at home diving into a spreadsheet than rubbing shoulders with politicians, but she was keen to embrace the challenge.
“Louise, JDRF’s National Development Manager, and I met with Federal MP John Alexander. We started by introducing ourselves and giving a brief outline of what type 1 diabetes is. We then thanked him and his Coalition government for the promised $54M funding of the CGM. He was very interested and shared his stories of a family friend whose son has type 1,” said Kathleen.
“Mr Alexander was also keen to learn more about T1D and how he could help. We spoke about government funding and the impact to our type 1 community. The meeting was very relaxed and we even had a few laughs.”
Kathleen finished, “I must say that I really enjoyed being involved in this project and I was grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in cross departmental collaboration and something completely different to my normal role in JDRF.”
Kathleen is pictured above with Louise (left) and MP John Alexander.
If you’re inspired to become a JDRF Advocate, you can contact the team here to learn more.