Polio survivors Ravy Leang-Slattery (polio year 1983) and her husband Wayne Slattery (polio year 1955) were very keen to join Polio Australia’s “We’re Still Here!” Campaigners in Canberra on 31 October 2012 to inform Parliamentarians about the needs of polio survivors. Unfortunately, after two months of trying they had not been able to secure a meeting at that time with their local member – the Prime Minister.
Although they did not travel to Canberra, Ravy and Wayne arranged to meet with Julia Gillard on 23 November 2012 at her office in Werribee where they passed on Polio Australia’s “We’re Still Here!” messages. They later reported that they had a good session with the PM and covered a lot of ground.
In particular, Ravy and Wayne handed over a copy of Polio Australia’s briefing material (including the need for funding for Polio Australia’s work), together with a copy of the first module of a new online resource on the late effects of polio developed by Polio Australia – The Late Effects of Polio: Introduction to Clinical Practice. The PM said she would refer the material to the appropriate Minister for an official response.
Ravy and Wayne also spoke to the PM about equipment costs incurred by polio survivors, such as braces/callipers and wheelchairs. Finally, as Ravy could attest to, they reminded the PM that there are still young polio survivors in Australia and so the health and disability services that Polio Australia is seeking will be required for many years to come.