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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14713

Dr ALY (Cowan) (10:18): I rise to present petition EN0849 to the House. It has been considered by the Standing Committee on Petitions and found to be in order. In commemoration of Purple Day, an awareness day for epilepsy held each year on 26 March, I am privileged to present this petition to support those Australians living with epilepsy. I particularly want to thank a champion constituent—Renee Evans, who lives in Cowan—who brought this petition together but is also such a passionate advocate for people with epilepsy. She herself has lived with epilepsy. She knows what it's like to live with epilepsy. She knows the stigma that people with epilepsy face every day. She is extremely committed to supporting people with epilepsy and raising awareness about epilepsy not just in Cowan but around Australia, and she has worked tirelessly in collecting 528 signatures for this petition.

The petition asks for more funding for people with epilepsy in Western Australia and around Australia for things like support groups, help getting jobs, assistance with medication costs and dietary needs, transportation and, most importantly, raising awareness for people with epilepsy. It also makes the point that current associations that are there to provide services for epilepsy should also incorporate the views of epileptics and carers of people with epilepsy who have the condition themselves in order to fully respond to the needs of people living with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is an overarching term for a group of neurological disorders, some with known causes and some without. But they all manifest in some form of seizure. I've heard stories of babies in the womb having seizures, from epilepsy, right through to people of all ages suffering from these seizures. I myself have a niece—or a niece-in-law, I guess—who suffers from epilepsy. She had her first seizure as a teenager, waiting at the bus stop after school.

Three to four per cent of Australians will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives. It's very clear that Australians with epilepsy need the support of their government, because many of the people who live with epilepsy can be free of seizures with the appropriate treatment. Further support for epilepsy is exactly what the signatories of this petition are calling for. I am very pleased to present this petition. Accordingly, I table the petition and thank the House.

The petition read as follows—

We are asking for more funding for people with epilepsy in Western Australia and Australia wide for support groups, help getting jobs, assistance with medication costs and dietary needs, transportation and most importantly raising awareness for people with epilepsy, it should be a must the current associations have employed carers or epileptics either in there group or on the board as how can they help us if they don’t have the condition.

We therefore ask the House to bring epilepsy to the light of day and with so many people with epilepsy not legally considered disabled we get very little assistance and very little funding goes to epilepsy look further into increasing funding and I believe epilepsy is a disability and should legally classified as one for our assistance and protection

from 528 citizens (Petition No. EN0849)

Petition received.