Local Champion in Bendigo

CCA Local Champion Voula Augerinos shows how meeting with your local MP can make a big difference in raising awareness.

Local champion Voula Augerino with Lisa Chesters the federal MP for BendigoPictured is CCA Local Champion Voula Augerinos meeting with Lisa Chesters the federal MP for Bendigo in October 2013.

“It was a great meeting. Lisa said to tell you and CCA that in addition to her interest in IBD as part of her professional role she has a personal interest also as a family member has had long term gastrointestinal disease. Therefore she has seen up close the impact of long term gastrointestinal disease.

“We discussed how IBD impacts on me and my life on a daily basis. When describing symptoms it is sometimes difficult to be upfront about that with someone you don’t know very well but I was really impressed with Lisa and how she made me feel very comfortable about speaking openly about my IBD. Supporting her family member was part of the reason why she is comfortable with such discussions she said. I also felt her compassionate nature and desire to help was another reason why I felt comfortable sharing my experience of IBD.

“Lisa said she would get in touch with her colleague Bernie Ripoll and the Parliamentary Friends of Crohn’s and Colitis and learn more about what they do. She is also interested in finding out how many IBD nurses there are in the electorate of Bendigo and will look into that.

“It was a great meeting. I have been invited to attend Labor party branch meetings and functions as a guest and I will do that from time to time to keep in touch. Lisa is also happy to attend any functions in the electorate which support the work of CCA.”