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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3045

Ms VAMVAKINOU (Calwell) (16:04): On Saturday night I attended the Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Society of Australia's 40th anniversary dinner. The organisation was founded in 1976 for the purpose of providing support to patients, families and friends of those dealing with thalassaemia. The society was formed by a group of doctors who understood that there was a great need to raise awareness about this haemoglobin disorder affecting a large number of our community. In the last forty years, thousands of people have been assisted with support and, more importantly, information.

Thalassaemia, or thalassaemia A and thalassaemia B—or major or minor—in particular affects large numbers of people from Europe, Africa, Asia and the subcontinent. In all, it affects a very large number of the Australian community. I want to quote the president of the Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Society of Australia, Mr Sotirios Katakouzinos, in relation to this. Sotirios says, 'While the available therapies are adequate, they are by no means perfect. Though significant advances have been made in understanding the condition, there is still much to be done to improve treatment. This event is a very important to us as it serves to help raise awareness, hope and commitment to the challenges of fighting thalassaemia and relative conditions.'

I wish the organisation all the very best and thank them for their good work.