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Advocacy for social justice, wellbeing and MS research

Rohan Greenland and Desmond Graham
13 September 2021

“MS Australia’s key focus is providing the best outcomes for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and overseeing our research program to better treat, prevent and ultimately find a cure for MS”, says Associate Professor Desmond Graham, President – MS Australia (pictured left with MS Australia CEO Rohan Greenland).

“Advocacy is the work we undertake to influence government and other key decision-makers to enact systemic policy change (fix or change systems), particularly related to health, disability and aged care.”

What we do

MS Australia seeks opportunities to contribute to policy development and to secure funding for vital MS research. We advocate on behalf of our four state/territory MS member organisations, to represent the over 25,600 people in Australia diagnosed with the disease, their carers and the broader MS community.

We advocate for improvements to all aspects of life with MS and work with the national and international research community, to identify better treatments, preventions and ultimately a cure for MS.

Our advocacy tools include our dedicated volunteer National Advocates and Ambassadors, our Parliamentary Friends of MS Group; making submissions to and meeting with government; holding events; collecting profiles and case studies; undertaking data insights and surveys, aligning with national or global campaigns such as National Carers Week and World MS Day, forming alliances and developing collateral.

Core advocacy work, social justice and wellbeing

MS Australia’s core advocacy work is proudly tied to social justice and wellbeing for people with MS. We strive for equitable access to support programs, to combat discrimination against people living with disability because of their MS and to ensure people ageing with MS get equitable support. Other aims include:

  • Stopping young people with MS (under 65) from entering and living in nursing homes
  • More affordable and accessible medications and treatments
  • Access to assistive technology to help people better manage home, work and daily life
  • Accessible housing
  • Better access to MS Nurses
  • More recognition and support for family members, friends and carers
  • Ensuring NDIS issues are fully addressed

Advocating for MS research

We advocate for an increased focus on research and better treatments for people living with MS.

Our research coordination, education and advocacy work includes funding grants and calls for specific programs, research into progressive MS, collaborations and submissions to government.

We initiate and explore opportunities for major collaborative research platforms and investigator-led research projects. We strive to ensure that research findings and evidence are translated into better outcomes for people with MS.

“Our overall aim is to supercharge the MS research agenda and seek funding for our research activities, to better treat, prevent and find a cure for MS”, says Associate Professor Graham. “In the area of MS research, MS Australia has made significant gains over the last 10 years, especially the past five years, across both searching for a cure, and in improving the treatments and care available to people living with MS.”

As CEO of MS Australia Rohan Greenland says, ‘’MS Australia’s mission and focus are our dual pillars of research and advocacy. We are working harder than ever to improve the lives of everyone living with MS, while supporting our incredible research community who are working tirelessly to find a pathway to a cure.’’

Read more here:
https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-us/advocacy
https://www.msaustralia.org.au/about-us/advocacy/submissions
https://www.msaustralia.org.au/news-blogs/latest-news/supercharging-ms-agenda