Fight Dementia March hits Parliament House
14 October, 2011
Yesterday marked a special day for the members and supporters of Alzheimer’s Australia as almost 500 people marched on Parliament House in the fight against dementia.
Led by Alzheimer’s Australia’s President, Ita Buttrose, marchers gathered to demand $500 million over five years in the next Federal Budget to address the dementia epidemic.
To the crowd of people with dementia, carers, families and professionals as well as parliamentary representatives, Ita Buttrose said that “we are taking off the velvet glove and putting on the iron fist.”
Members and supports heard from Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Glenn Rees; Ita Buttrose; Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler; Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Sharon Grierson, Co-Convenor of Parliamentary Friends of Dementia.
They were also joined by Kate Swaffer, who is currently living with younger onset dementia, and carer Judy Woolstencroft both giving heart felt accounts of their experiences with dementia; urging the government for more funding.
Later that day Alzheimer’s Australia held a Consumer Summit in which panel members; Ita Buttrose, Glenn Rees, Professor Henry Brodaty, Sue Pieters-Hawke and Paul Gregersen answered questions and listened to members as they recounted their stories.
Greens spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert also asked the question of the Government as to why the Dementia Initiative had been terminated the same afternoon.
Alzheimer’s Australia also released two reports. The first, Dementia Across Australia: 2011- 2050 has found that without a significant medical breakthrough, the number of Australians with dementia is expected to soar from an estimated 267,000 in 2011 to almost one million people by 2050. The second report, a paper prepared by Alzheimer’s Australia on National Strategies to Address Dementia around the world showed there is a growing recognition that dementia can only be beaten through national action.
Alzheimer’s Australia is still urging people to sign up as a Dementia Champion at http://campaign.fightdementia.org.au/
You can visit http://www.facebook.com/fightdementia to keep track of the campaign.
Download a full copy of the report Dementia Across Australia: 2011- 2050 here.
Download a full copy of the report National Strategies to Address Dementia here.
Download a copy of the media release $500 million needed to address the dementia epidemic here.
Download a copy of the address by Alzheimer's Australia President, Ita Buttrose at the march.
To review Senator Siewert’s question in full please view the fragment from the Hansard.