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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2998


Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (19:50): On Sunday, 30 October I joined thousands of South Australians for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Walk in my electorate in the suburb of Glenelg along the seaside to Somerton and back. The JDRF One Walk is the world's biggest type 1 diabetes fundraiser event. Each year JDRF walks around the globe bringing together around a million people to raise over $85 million to help fund life changing research for people with type 1 diabetes. This success is only possible because of the support, commitment and strength of our community. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong autoimmune disease that usually occurs in childhood but can be diagnosed at any age. It is estimated that over 120,000 people in Australia alone are affected by type 1 diabetes. In fact, type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. It occurs more frequently than cancer, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Around 2,400 Australians are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year and the incidence is increasing at 3.2 per cent a year.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system mistakenly turning on itself. When this happens beta cells within the pancreas are destroyed, affecting the body's ability to produce insulin—and insulin, as we all know, allows the body to process sugar and to create energy. Without insulin the body literally starves and it cannot process food. In order to stay alive people with type 1 diabetes must have a constant supply of insulin through injections or an insulin pump, and they test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers at least four times a day.

It is important that research into this disease is supported. That is why I was so thrilled to take part in the walk on Sunday a week ago. I have participated in virtually every walk since its inauguration a few years back. I have sounded the horn. It is a very exciting part of the day. It is a very loud horn. I get great joy out of pressing the button and hearing the siren. It is an absolutely fantastic event. I pay tribute to Tamara Aitchison, the CEO of the South Australian JDRF, which is situated in the suburb of Plympton in the middle of my electorate.

Many thousands participated in the walk on the day. The weather started out quite well, but then a storm blew over. Many of us did not manage to finish the walk because of the high winds and the rain. It was attended by many, including the President of the Legislative Council, Mr Russell Wortley; Senator Don Farrell and his wife, Nimfa; Senator Sarah Hanson-Young; Dana Wortley, the MP for Torrens; and the Mayor of Holdfast Bay, Stephen Patterson.

JDRF works tirelessly for millions of children around the world. We see the hard work they do not only in our electorates but also in this parliament. Their vision is to have a world without type 1 diabetes. They say that it is the determination of the people affected by the disease to overcome it that gives the foundation its inspiration and the determination to do all it can to end it.

JDRF has set itself the goal this year of raising $1 million. I understand that it has currently raised over $700,000. I again urge everyone to get behind this initiative. Participate in a walk if there is still one scheduled near you or donate through their website—walk.jdrf.org.au. It will remain open until January 2017, so there is still plenty of time to donate. In South Australia, my home state, it estimates that we will raise a total of $120,000. That is quite amazing by a group of volunteers and a lot of kids. A lot of kids who have type 1 diabetes are fundraising. It was fantastic to see so many people participate, despite, as I said earlier, the very cold and windy conditions.

I sincerely thank the fantastic people at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for all that they do to find a cure and improve the treatment for this disease. I also thank the South Australian politicians who I named earlier who participated—it was a bipartisan team—and the many people who braved the elements and took part in this great event. Most importantly, I acknowledge those young people with type 1 diabetes and their families. They are an absolute inspiration to all of us. I very much look forward to meeting some of them at a morning tea in my electorate office in December. I will host them and have a chat with them. It is great to see how together we can all make a difference.