Circle of Hope in Parliament House
In mid-November we held our Circle of Hope advocacy event in Parliament House Canberra in conjunction with Transplant Australia. A number of politicians, members of the pharmaceutical industry and others who are involved in the field of Indigenous health attended the breakfast and listened to speeches by Transplant Australia’s Chair Alan Amodeo, Malpa Director Don Palmer, the Hon. Catherine King MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and Bamaga woman Bethel O’Keefe from the Kidney Support Network. The event was hosted by Transplant Australia CEO, Chris Thomas.
This event was a fantastic way to demonstrate the severe problems faced by Indigenous Australians across Australia in the area of health, particularly kidney health and organ and tissue donation and transplantation, as well as offering some simple solutions.
We were very priveleged to have in attendance, not only Bethel, but also Gregory Williams Tjapangardi and Maureen Walker Nakamrra, artists from Central Australia who were painting a canvas at the event. Gregory, Maureen and Bethel all did a fantastic job in sharing their stories of kidney failure, both personally and in their commuities and it was truly fantastic to have them there. On top of that, most of the attendees signed the artwork painted by Gregory and Maureen on the day in an act of support for the improvement of kidney health and transplantation in Indigenous communities across Australia.
We would like to thank the volunteers who came down to Canberra for the event and without whom we could not have had such a successful event. We would also like to thank Bethel, Gregory and Maureen for travelling all the way to Canberra and sharing their powerful stories.
Finally we would like to express our appreciation towards Transplant Australia for being our partner in this event. All the staff in the office worked extremely hard on the event and did a fantastic job!
Circle of Hope has been made possible by the generous provision of untied educational grants from Baxter, Diaverum, Fresenius, Genzyme, Janssen-Cilag, Pfizer, Roche.
Transplant Australia has received funding assistance for this project from the Organ and Tissue Authority.
Please see Transplant Australia’s website for more information about the event: http://www.transplant.org.au/content.aspx?PageID=27&ItemID=206