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
Federal Member for Parkes (New South Wales)
The Nationals Chief Whip in the House of Representatives
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.
Jill Hall, MP
(Australian Labor Party)
Federal Member for Shortland (New South Wales)
Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives
Jill Hall’s APH Webpage
Jill Hall is a former State MP for the local seat Swansea. Before entering politics, she worked as a rehabilitation councillor with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service. She was elected to Lake Macquarie City Council in 1991, serving a term as Deputy Mayor, before her election to state Parliament in 1995. Jill resigned from state parliament to contest and win Shortland at the 1998 Federal election.
The Hon Greg Hunt, MP
Federal Member for Flinders (Victoria)
Minister for the Environment
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
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.
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
Senator for Western Australia
Australian Greens Whip
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.