Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day

Monday, 24 June 2024

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (13:48): Today we mark Global MND Awareness Day, which is 21 June 2024, with all of the motor neurone disease associations from Australia gathering here also to mark 30 years of MND Australia. As members know, global motor neurone disease awareness day recognises the fight against motor neurone disease, a rapidly progressive, incurable neurological disease which weakens the nerve cells and muscles, leading to death. Each week, 14 people are diagnosed with MND across Australia.

It's great to see so many people wearing blue cornflowers today, the symbol of hope for MND and for the development of treatments and cures. The cornflower represents courage, and a lot of courage was there today, with all of the state associations who volunteer to help so many people with treatment for this incurable disease.

Over 30 years in Australia, we've seen some fantastic advocacy. We've seen the memorable ice bucket challenge globally and within Australia, with $25 million raised. And, of course, there was Woz Acott, who rode 800 kilometres on a lawnmower to Parliament House to deliver a petition to parliament. I'd like to pay tribute to my good friend and MND sufferer Jason and his wife, Anthea, who were also there, for their advocacy, and to Sarah and Phil also, for sharing their deeply personal story of MND today.

As the Parliamentary Friends of MND, which I co-chair with Senator Carol Brown, we want to ensure that our parliament is committed to greater research, awareness and NDIS treatments to help the lives of sufferers by doing everything it can.