TASCS Australia visits Michael Gidley
January 28, 2017
On Monday 16th January 2017, representatives from TASCS Australia visited the office of Michael Gidley. Mr Gidley is the state member for the Victorian parliament for the electorate of Waverley, where a considerable number of thalassaemia and sickle cell sufferers reside in, and where TASCS Australia has its office based in.
The nature of the meeting was to touch base and keep Mr Gidley informed with the work and efforts of the Society, as Mr Gidley had contacts with our late President, Mr Sotirios Katakouzinos, as part of the efforts to coordinate support for the Society’s community work.
Mr Gidley began by expressing his regrets and extending his condolences for Mr Katakouzinos’ passing, highlighting that it was a great loss for the cause and interests of thalassaemia. He briefly recalled his previous meetings with Mr Katakouzinos, and pointed out that more needs to be done by state and federal authorities to support charitable and advocacy networks like TASCS Australia.
He noted in particular, the need to lessen the burden of bureaucratic red-tape, such as compliance and reporting regulations upon charitable organisations, as it shifts focus away from the purpose and work that community groups perform. He went on to note, the difficulties that charities faced in remaining operational, as there was tough competition for securing funding, volunteers and raising public awareness. In particular, he observed that those organisations that were more vocal and “assertive”, tended to squeeze other charities out of existence.
In response, TASCS Australia representatives sought guidance and assistance from Mr Gidley, regarding the re-establishment of “Friends of Thalassaemias” advocacy committee in Victorian state parliament.
Amongst the many things discussed, Mr Gidley underlined that the success of such an endeavour, will require ministers who are involved or associated with the ministry of health or the department of health and human services. He cited that a minister with a background or experience in healthcare, would be of immense advantage. He suggested that certain ministers are in a better position than himself, who could further TASCS Australia’s cause in the formation and success of this proposed bipartisan advocacy committee.
He also suggested including some medical experts and patients (-who could offer their testimony) to participate in the committee, thus lending further credence to it. In any case, Mr Gidley promised to contact various political representatives who could assist our undertaking and to direct our Society towards their offices, so as to work towards our goal. Mr Gidley expressed his desire to meet again in the near future so as to touch base, and see the Society’s progress and determine if he can possibly help further. The Society’s representatives thanked Mr Gidley for his time, efforts and most importantly his guidance. We thank him once again and look forward to seeing him in future.