JDRF advocates

Morning tea with Leader of the Opposition Hon Peter Dutton MP

May 07, 2024

JDRF’s advocacy program is all about helping decision makers understand what life with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is like and the difference their support could make.  

Right now, there are advocates all over the country meeting with MPs to share their experiences living with T1D, and to tell them about the JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (CRN), a federally funded research network that is the main supported of T1D research in Australia. 

This April, the Parker-Zaini’s were one advocate family doing just this, hosting a morning tea, as they welcomed T1D families and the JDRF team into their home alongside the Leader of the Opposition Hon Peter Dutton MP. 

Together, they got to chat about the importance of the CRN and share their personal experiences and insights into life with T1D.   

Read on to hear about the day from the advocates!  

Linda Parker-Zaini, mum to Alyssa who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 8, said that: 

It was lovely to host a morning tea recently with T1D families alongside our special guest our Local Member for Dickson, the Opposition Leader Hon Peter Dutton. It was a great opportunity to talk about the impact of research and why it means so much to us, and to tell our own personal stories of life with T1D. Our family have had a long history with our Local Member who is continually engaged with us, the T1D community and JDRF. It’s also why we are passionate about being JDRF advocates, to enhance the type 1 voice and the need for the government to invest in Clinical Research.   

Mark Mason, dad to Benjamin and James who both live with T1D (Benjamin diagnosed at 4.5 years old followed by James 11 months later at 3 years old) shared his experience at the morning tea, saying: 

We were recently invited to attend a morning tea with the Leader of the Opposition Mr Peter Dutton at the home of JDRF Advocate family in the electorate of Dickson to discuss the Clinical Research Network (CRN). Mr Dutton was gracious with his time and listened intently to the personal experiences of the advocates. We found him to be highly knowledgeable on both the challenges of T1D and the benefits of the CRN research to date. He spoke at length and with genuine empathy about his personal experiences with T1D and is indeed a great supporter of the CRN and the outcomes it is seeking to achieve. On behalf of the entire JDRF Advocacy network, we are thankful for the long-time support of Mr Dutton and remain hopeful that his support will help us in the future to live in a world without T1D.   

Zeph Hartley who lives with T1D (diagnosed aged 2, now 11 years old), said that: 

Meeting Mr Dutton really meant something to me and my JDRF advocacy. He was very interested to hear my story of my type 1 journey of nearly a decade. I showed him my pump and awesome math skills with statistics of how many people in Australia are diagnosed each day with diabetes, (and in case you’re wondering it’s 8 – which is way too high!).  I gave Mr Dutton a picture of a key I drew symbolising, research holds the key to a cure. He told me he would hang it in his office which I can’t wait to visit. 

A big thank you Mr Dutton and all our advocates for their unwavering support and dedication to raising the profile of T1D and the community to key decision makers.  

This activity is in support of JDRF’s current advocacy activity, which is hoping to secure $50 million in Government funding for the continuation of the CRN. This will mean we can continue investing in the most promising research breakthroughs that will make a difference for the T1D community the fastest.  

To learn more about the research funded through the CRN, click here