Advocacy Spotlight: Meet Giselle

February 29, 2024

Earlier this month, our advocates and the JDRF team were in Parliament House for the exciting research announcement regarding funding committed for five research projects in collaboration with the ENDIA study.

In addition to this they were able to meet with key decision makers and discuss the reality of type 1 diabetes (T1D) along with the importance of continuing the Clinical Research Network.  

Our wonderful JDRF advocate, Giselle, also had the unique opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to discuss her journey and why she is passionate about raising the profile of T1D. 

We caught up with Giselle about this experience and what being a JDRF advocate means to her.  

Why did you join JDRF’s advocacy program? 

I am passionate about creating a better life for people with type 1 diabetes by spreading awareness and using my voice to advocate for research.  

When my mum and I got our advocacy toolkit, we chucked our JDRF t-shirts on and went down to Anthony Albanese’s office in Marrickville to ask for a meeting. We were invited to return the following week to meet with Tim, one of Albanese’s advisors.    

When we met with Tim a week later, we spoke about all things type 1. He was super kind and we found out that he had a good friend with type 1 diabetes. So, we spoke about that and the need for more funding for research. 

I explained about what happened to me when I first got diagnosed with type 1 and how it changed my life.  

Tell us about your trip to Parliament House 

I was invited by Mel at JDRF to be part of representing the T1D community in Canberra at Parliament House for an exciting research announcement and to be the MC. This was very exciting and of course I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. 

Little did I know how big the day was going to be… the invite was extended to my mum and I to meet the Prime Minister, who is my local Member of Parliament. 

We got up to make sure we would be ready on time. We got in the car and went to Parliament House, I was super, super excited! We went to Parliament House, and I was amazed by how fancy it was. We met with Mel who was lovely, and she guided us upstairs to the cafe, where we met with Suz, Mike Wilson, researchers and other wonderful JDRF people and advocacy families. We then went downstairs to get signed in, where we got clips to let us through security.  

One of the Prime Minister’s advisors led us down a hallway where we then sat at a small table, where she told us about the Prime Minister’s dog and his love of animals. As we were early, we were taken to a huge room where we met another one of his advisors, who also happened to have type 1 diabetes. This was so amazing as we got to share our thoughts on type 1 diabetes. There were lot of media and photographers there who made me feel very special.  

We were then taken to the Prime Minister’s office, where we met with him, and my mum and I started discussing my passion for gymnastics. I told him all about my pump and he told us about where he grew up, which is not far from where we live. 

He then took me out to his private courtyard where he showed me the cool water feature, I loved it. Then I asked the Prime Minister if I could have a selfie. I got a selfie with the Prime Minister – so cool! 

We were then taken to a parliamentary courtyard where everyone was waiting for the research announcement to begin. There I met with the Health Minister Mark Butler (he was so nice!), among many other Parliamentarians.  

How did you feel about meeting the Prime Minister?  

Meeting the Prime Minister felt unreal, and I felt so lucky to be able to talk to him as an advocate for JDRF and type 1 diabetes. It was a true privilege and I am extremely thankful for such an opportunity!  

Why is the Clinical Research Network important to you and your family? 

The Clinical Research Network brings hope to people living with type 1 diabetes, hope that one day, a cure will be found through research.  

What are your hope and dreams as a JDRF advocate? 

I hope that in the future, there will be no type 1 diabetes. For now, I hope that I will be able to help other children still facing type 1 diabetes. It is my aim to become a Diabetes Educator in a hospital, and I’d also like to teach gymnastics. 


Giselle’s meeting with the Prime Minister was one of the many exciting things happening for JDRF this February, helping to raise awareness of T1D and the importance of research. As well as Giselle’s exciting activities and meetings, many advocates and JDRF staff joined Minister Butler for the research announcement event, headed to the Inquiry into Diabetes in Australia, and met with MPs across the board including, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, the Deputy Chair of the Diabetes Inquiry Melissa McIntosh and more, to talk about life with type 1 diabetes and the ask for CRN4.  

A big thank you Giselle and all of our advocates for their unwavering support and commitment to raising the profile of T1D.