Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

19 Sep 2018 speech

Last month I was delighted to host Ethan and Kylie Greenfield and Hayden and Andrew Supple here in Parliament House as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Kids in the House event. This event brings awareness of the 120,000 Australians and their families who live with type 1 diabetes, with more than 100 JDRF advocates of all ages and backgrounds coming to Canberra to meet with their local member of parliament and spread the message that research is the key to a cure.

Seven-year-old Ethan and 15-year-old Hayden are regular visitors to my office, so that they can let me know what life is like for them and the 743 members of our community living with type 1 diabetes and what policy changes they would like to see in this area. Hayden and Ethan told me they would like to see continued support for the wonderful work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a $50 million commitment for the clinical research network to help find a cure for this devastating disease, and they supported our already considerable investments in this area. Those investments include $54 million in funding for free continuous glucose monitoring for people under the age of 21, $125 million to accelerate research into diabetes and cardiac disease, $6.2 million for insulin pumps for kids with type 1 diabetes and the $6 million we announced on 4 September our government will invest for a school support program to help train teachers in how to support the 6,000 or so schoolkids with
type 1 diabetes.

It was really wonderful to hear from Ethan and Hayden and to have them visit me, and I'd just like to thank them so much for their bravery in sharing their stories with me. I received a wonderful surprise visit from Hayden and his dad Andrew at my electorate office when we got home following the Kids in the House event. Hayden had put together a photo book of his trip to Canberra and his history of interacting with my predecessor, Dr Andrew Southcott, and with me. It had lots of wonderful photos, and it also had some really important messages about type 1 diabetes and what it's like to live with it.

I was also delighted to see Westminster School, around the corner from my electorate office, get behind Ethan by hosting a term 3 Casual Day fundraiser in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation last Friday. It's truly wonderful to see our community get behind these fantastic young people to help raise awareness and funding for more research.

I would also like to recognise the commitment and support provided by Ethan and Hayden's parents, Kylie and Andrew, and their families. Chronic conditions like diabetes have an impact not just on the person with diabetes but on their entire family. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know Ethan and Kylie and Hayden and Andrew, and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and advocacy for everyone with type 1 diabetes.