The 2013 Federal Election Campaign . . .

Polio Australia is, once again, asking for ‘polio heroes’ to join us at Parliament House, Canberra on Wednesday 26th June 2013, in the lead up to September’s federal election.

Last October, 60 members of the polio community made the trip to Canberra for Polio Awareness Month – most of whom met with their local Members of Parliament to discuss the total lack of support being given to Australia’s polio survivors from the federal government. In spite of the fact that everyone who attended was required to arrange and pay their own way, including transport, accommodation and meals, the campaign heroes all felt they had accomplished something that had never been done before, and the presence of so many polio survivors in one place made a definite impact on the Parliamentarians.

The Program for 26 June will be similar to the October 2012 campaign – complete with a complimentary buffet lunch in the Members and Guests Dining Room. However, more details will become available in the coming weeks, so visit this site regularly.

Apart from leaving the Parliamentarians specific, budgeted information on what Polio Australia is asking from the government (click here for last year’s handout which outlines the issues), this visit we also want to acknowledge the wider circle of people who are “Still Here!” with us. We are working on a ‘family tree’ theme and will be issuing all the campaign heroes with an orange card leaf to hang up at Parliament House. One side will be printed with the words “Honouring Australia’s Polio Survivors” and the other side is where people can write their own name (as a polio survivor), or that of someone they know who had polio: parent, spouse, sibling, child, Aunty Joan, school friend Peter, etc.

I am someone’s . . .

Polio Tree

I am a polio survivor!

These leaves will also be sent to all federal Parliamentarians with a request that they also think about someone they know who had polio and display the leaf with that person’s name in their parliamentary office window. We will also be inviting any politician who wants to know more about our issues to attend the ‘Honour Ceremony’ and make time to meet with small groups of our campaign heroes.

Our new blog site is up and running and you can now post about how polio affected you and those around you, and how the Late Effects of Polio are impacting on your life now. Encourage your family and friends to do the same! Click here: www.stillhere.asn.au

We encourage as many polio survivors and their supporters as possible to join the federal election “We’re Still Here!” Campaign. There has never been a better time to make our voices heard, especially as most polio survivors will not derive any benefit from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (now DisabilityCare Australia) due to the 65 age limit.

This year, Polio Australia wants to acknowledge and thank Edwina Toohey, Media and Communication student at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, for working on the campaign and blog site with us. Edwina is being mentored by GlaxoSmithKline Australia’s Manager Corporate Affairs and Patient Advocacy, Ken Griffin, who has been a wonderful support over the years.

Contact Mary-ann for more information and/or to add your name to the list of campaign heroes heading to Canberra!