MP Profile: A JDRF exclusive with Ross Vasta MP

September 17, 2021

JDRF’s politician profiles are an opportunity to talk to people across the political spectrum and get an insight into their thoughts about type 1 diabetes, what their JDRF Advocate meetings mean to them and more. This month, we got in touch with Ross Vasta MP – Federal Member for Bonner and learned about the first time he met a JDRF advocate along with some fun facts about him like his interest in Lego! Read on to find out more.

1. Tell us about your first meeting with JDRF or advocate and what did you learn?

I’ve actually been lucky enough to meet with JDRF and their advocates on multiple occasions over the years!

At Parliament House back in 2018, I met with junior advocate David to chat about type 1 diabetes.

‘Kids in the House’ is an is an awesome initiative by JDRF and where over 100 kids with type 1 diabetes visit Parliament House in Canberra to remind their MP (like me!) that research is the key to a cure.

Not only did David share his own experiences with me, but I learnt about the tireless work of these junior JDRF advocates. They are true inspirations!

Earlier this year, I also caught up with Mel from JDRF.

In my electorate of Bonner, there is unfortunately 740 people with T1D. We spoke about JDRF’s recent work, as well as the presence of T1D in Bonner and what can be done to drive greater awareness and stand by those fighting this disease.

2. Why are these constituent meetings valuable to you?

Constituents are the heart of my community; the community I love and the community I am committed to delivering the best for.

Meeting with them, learning about what is most important to them as well as where they need support helps me to achieve exactly this.

But it doesn’t just have to be when I am in the electorate!

I spend so much time in Canberra and am regularly meeting with constituents at Parliament House both in person and over the phone. In fact, I first met JDRF at Parliament House!

My community knows I am always available to support, no matter where I may be.

3. What advice do you have for JDRF advocates?

Keep giving a voice to and raising awareness of T1D and keep fighting the good fight!

JDRF advocates are change makers for the hundreds of thousands of Australians living with T1D as well as their families.

4. What do you think makes JDRF unique?

What makes JDRF unique is that they are not only making advocates of those in the community, they are proactively assisting the policy makers to understand and invest in T1D.

Thanks to their voice and vision for working towards ‘Type One’ becoming ‘Type None’, they have produced over half a billion dollars of new investment in T1D in Australia over the last 10 years.

I think I speak for all of us pollies that we are incredibly eager to keep learning about how we can continue playing a part in shaping policy and helping new treatments reach our communities.

5. Tell us one thing people might not know about you?

There is more Lego in my office than stationary…

6. If I wasn’t an MP I would be…

An aspiring athlete! Growing up, I loved running and track events. It was a huge passion of mine.

Now, the closest I get to this dream is F45 Monday to Friday!