On Thursday 30 May, Members of Parliament and Senators, led by Dr Andrew Laming MP and The Hon Shayne Neumann MP, attended a parliamentary morning tea hosted by Cystic Fibrosis Australia. The morning tea marked the conclusion of Sixty-Five Roses Month and provided an opportunity for Cystic Fibrosis Australia to call on the government to provide funding for specialised patient care clinics and new medication able to treat the root cause of the condition.

The event was kicked off by David Jack, CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Australia, with a speech regarding the impact of cystic fibrosis on the individual and community, as well as the growing need for government involvement. The mix of speakers delivered a very powerful message to sitting members and the media. Cystic fibrosis patient Alex Parker and Gerard and Shannon Brierley, parents of three year old Ignatius, spoke about the condition and the significance of a new treatment soon to be approved for those living with the G551D gene mutation.

Speeches were also delivered by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Dr Andrew Laming MP, the Hon Shayne Neumann MP and Dr Sarath Ranganathan. Minister Plibersek utilised the morning tea to announce funding of $30,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

Fifteen Parliamentarians took time out to attend the event, with each guest receiving a photo album comprised of patient photos and stories, as well as a copy of the Cystic Fibrosis Australia Annual Report. Guests were presented with a Sixty-Five Roses pin and encouraged to wear it throughout the day. The event received significant national and regional print and broadcast media coverage.

Before the morning tea, Alex Parker, her grandfather Ken and David Jack met privately with the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and Minister Plibersek to discuss the government’s role in providing assistance to the cystic fibrosis community and to ensuring affordable access to new therapies.
Commenting on the event, Cystic Fibrosis Australia CEO David Jack said:

“It was pleasing to receive such a high level of recognition for cystic fibrosis from the many Parliamentarians and advisors in attendance. Without a doubt, by the end of the event all those in attendance recognised the enduring mark that cystic fibrosis leaves on the lives of everyone it touches and the role they can play in ensuring new therapies are made available to patients in Australia”.

Parliament Morning Tea  Alex and PM