Polio Australia is privileged to have four Parliamentary Patrons. Their bi-partisan support for our cause is vital as we endeavour to seek Federal funding for best-practice services for polio survivors across Australia.

Mark Coulton, MP
(The Nationals)
Federal Member for Parkes (New South Wales)
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Mark Coulton’s Website

Mark Coulton was raised in Warialda before attending Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School in Tamworth as a boarding student. After completing his HSC, he returned to the family farm, where in 1981 he married his wife Robyn, who had moved to the district from Sydney to teach at a local school. Mark was Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council from 2004 to 2007 and has been a member of a wide variety of community organisations.


Steve Georganas, MP
(Australian Labor Party)
Federal Member for Hindmarsh (South Australia)
Steve Georganas’ Website

Steve has lived in the electorate of Hindmarsh his entire life. Steve has worked on a factory assembly line, as an underwriter, a policy adviser and a taxi driver. He is currently working as an organiser advocating for workers’ rights in the airline and local government sectors. Previously, Steve held the seat of Hindmarsh and served as the Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He served on many committees, including as Chair of the Health and Ageing Committee.


The Hon Greg Hunt, MP
(Liberal Party)
Federal Member for Flinders (Victoria)
Minister for Health and Minister for Sport
Greg Hunt’s Website

Greg Hunt was born in Frankston and raised in Mornington and went on to study law at Melbourne University, graduating with first class honours winning an award for the best final year law thesis, then taking up a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Masters in International Relations at Yale University in the United States. While at Melbourne University, Greg captained the Australian Universities Debating Team. A former adviser to Alexander Downer, Greg’s main interest on entering political life was in international relations. He was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary after the 2004 election, initially in Environment and Heritage, later in Foreign Affairs in early 2007. He has been the Opposition spokesman on Climate Change since 2007, a position he is well qualified for, having completed a thesis on whether greenhouse gases are best reduced by taxes, trading rights or regulation. Greg is the son of former upper house Victorian MP Alan Hunt.

Catherine King, MP
(Australian Labor Party)
Federal Member for Ballarat (Victoria)
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare
Catherine King’s Website

Catherine King began her career in Ballarat as a social worker and subsequently spent five years working with young people and their families. Immediately before her election, she was working as a consultant specialising in health, education and community services. In 1991, she won the Victorian Young Achiever of the Year Award (Community Service) for her work in the Ballarat community.

Parliamentary Motion

In 2009 Catherine King moved, and Jill Hall seconded, a Notice of Motion (Private Members’ Business) calling for the recognition of the plight of polio survivors and their needs.  A debate resulting from such a Motion is not a foregone conclusion, and many Motions make it no further than the Parliamentary Notice Paper.  To our delight, however, Catherine’s Motion was debated in the House of Representatives on Monday, 17 August 2009.  Please click here to read both the motion and the speeches of those who supported it (Catherine King, Darren Chester, Jill Hall and Mark Coulton) in the 20 minutes available.

Senator Rachel Siewert
(Australian Greens)
Senator for Western Australia
Australian Greens Representative for: Family and Community Services; Ageing; Disability Services; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues; and Mental Health
Rachel Siewert’s Website

Rachel was first elected to the Senate at the 2004 election and commenced her term in July 2005, quickly gaining a reputation as an assertive and hard working member of the Senate.

She is one of ten Australian Greens MPs in the current Parliament and together they have established a track record of positive, solution-focused negotiations with all parties in Parliament. In addition to her work in Perth and Canberra, Rachel regularly visits the regions and remote communities discuss critical social, health, agricultural and environmental issues.

Coming from an agricultural science background, prior to entering the Senate Rachel spent sixteen years as the Coordinator of the Conservation Council of Western Australia. As a Senator she continues to have highly productive working relationship with non-government organisations across many sectors throughout Australia, providing a critical link between Parliament and our communities.