Our work in 2016 included some really important advocacy activities.
In the lead up to the July Australian Federal election, we raised issues of ongoing concern with both major parties, plus several independents. The MSA team developed an Election Commitments document, to highlight those key issues in a “take home” format. These remain high on our radar and we will ensure they stay high on the Government’s also.
The NDIS especially remains a high priority as we see the roll out of the Scheme across the country. MSA will maintain our work in this area to ensure we are working for people with MS in the way that was intended.
Our Employment Summit on World MS Day in May, gave government representatives and people interested in the employment space a chance to hear from people with MS about the issues in employment and MS, plus hear case studies of best practice. A huge thank you to the team for their work in making this happen.
Internationally we have contributed to the development of the new MSIF (Multiple Sclerosis International Federation) strategy that will run through to 2020, which provides support for all member organisations and importantly, supports the work of the Progressive MS Alliance.
Team changes in 2016 saw the sad departure of Lauren, our Communications Manager, as she returned to the UK after 12 months in Australia. But we welcomed Mark and Lisa on board in our advocacy and communications work.
Our collaborations strengthen, especially with the Neurological Alliance Australia, given the number of shared issues we need to progress. This will be an increasingly important group as we move into 2017 and continue to lobby on the issues facing people with progressive neurological conditions.
Thank you to our online community for your continued interest in MSA and the work we do. We will continue to advocate for the needs of people with MS throughout 2017 and hope that you will join us on that journey.
- Deidre Mackechnie, CEO of MS Australia