About JDRF's advocacy program

About JDRF's

We are change makers.

One of JDRF’s core purposes has been fundamentally transforming the way Governments understand and invest in type 1 diabetes. This has produced over half a billion dollars of new investment in T1D in Australia in the last 10 years.

JDRF’s advocacy program, powered by advocates who give voice to the lived experience of T1D has helped deliver a T1D-focused policy in EVERY election cycle since 2004. This has been based on a bipartisan, community driven approach where we ensure all of our federal representatives have an understanding on what life with T1D is like, and the change their support can make. Through campaigns and programs such as Promise To Remember Me and Kids In the House, JDRF Advocates have been able to build relationships and drive meaningful change for the more than 130,000 Australians who live with T1D and their families.


Being a JDRF Lead advocate for NSW has helped me understand diabetes to give me a bigger voice to help raise awareness and share my experience – as well as make lots of new friends!

Lead advocate NSW, Kirilly White

Numbers that count

A special premiere of our video, Numbers that Count, took place in the theatres of Parliament House in 2018.

Federal politicians joined more than 100 JDRF advocates to watch this video, which details why research holds the key to a cure for type 1 diabetes.


I am privileged and grateful to support MP engagement in Tassie and to our dedicated Tasmanian advocate families as the Lead Advocate to support JDRF’s mission for a world without T1D.

Lead advocate TAS, Daniel Webb

Building an extensive and extended program of political advocacy

Since inception, JDRF’s advocacy program has focused on delivering:

  • Widespread grassroots engagement: We have connected advocates to MPs across the 151 federal electorates nationally, to ask personally for T1D-specific support.
  • High profile events: We have staged bipartisan high-profile events and involved key stakeholders (The Prime Minister and Shadow Health Minister, respectively) to prosecute our case in person.
  • Research-focused media activity: We have profiled successes to date in the media to help affirm JDRF’s proposal and capabilities.
  • Innovative tools: We have distributed innovative lobbying tools including videos and guides, to arm our advocates with persuasive and easily accessible information.

My time as an advocate has been nothing but rewarding and allowed me to meet some incredible people. I want everyone with Type 1 Diabetes to know that they are not alone on their journey.

Lead advocate ACT, Casey MacDonald-Smith

JDRF is more than just ONE organisation advocating for those living with type 1 diabetes. We empower a NETWORK of advocates with T1D around Australia

No other organisation of our size and nature in Australia is entirely focused towards people with T1D. JDRF’s network of advocates have helped people with T1D gain better access to medicines, strengthened their influence on decision-makers, and demanded progress towards a cure. We have done this by targeting policy, providing a platform for national T1D-related advocacy, improving public awareness of T1D through the media and working with researchers to ensure the needs and interests of people with T1D drive research planning.


Together we achieve more than we do alone, together we strive for greatness, together we aim for the ultimate goal, a cure for T1D.

Lead advocate VIC, Ellie-May Maguire

Achieving a better world for people with T1D: How the advocacy program works

What does it take to deliver on our advocacy goals?

  • The power of a dedicated team. JDRF has staff whose role is delivering T1D advocacy directly and through volunteers. 
  • The passion and perseverance of our volunteer support networks. Our Advocacy Lead Network of volunteers engages with JDRF advocates locally helping us remain connected across Australia. 
  • Providing tools for individual advocacy. Tools and support are provided to make the ‘how’ of advocacy easier for our volunteers. 
  • Precise & clear messages. JDRF-led messaging is shared to ensure national alignment and consistency in the ‘what’ of advocacy for our key campaigns.

I’ve been advocating for over 13 years now and it is so fulfilling to know we are truly making a difference to help find a cure for T1D, as well as helping to make lasting change in diabetes management. Being able to support the South Australian families as they advocate is so rewarding.

Lead advocate SA, Shanna McGrath

15 years of progress: Our MPs are listening


Know that diabetes can’t stop you from doing anything. You control it, it doesn’t control you so live your life without limitations! I am proud to advocate and lead the way in Western Australia.

Lead advocate WA, Lauryn Hope-Blyth

Our progress


I have advocated for many years and sharing my experience with QLD advocate families and championing them is incredibly rewarding. I am dedicated to making a difference for all living with T1D – we all have a voice!

Lead advocate QLD, Carrie Forbes

A decade of support

Improving the lives of those with T1D, those who love them and the communities we all live in.

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