Skip to main content

Launch of Shake It Up Australia Foundation's 'Pause 4 Parkinson's' campaign, Admiralty House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cammeraygal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good evening, everyone. Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Admiralty House for this Shake It Up Australia Foundation reception.

There are four very good reasons for having you here today:

  • To celebrate Shake It Up’s 10th anniversary.
  • To launch the Foundation’s annual awareness campaign, ‘Pause 4 Parkinson’s’, which runs throughout April and coincides with World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April.
  • To acknowledge the outstanding achievements of the Foundation, including the co-funding with the Michael J. Fox Foundation of 50 research projects across 13 Australian institutes to the value of $15 million.
  • And, to thank all of you – the administrators, the donors and sponsors, the researchers and institutes, and the people with Parkinson’s who participate in clinical trials – for the work you do to help the Foundation in its quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

That’s why we’re all here today! It’s a pleasure for Linda and me to be able to help shine a light on the critically important work of the Foundation and on the team that make it all possible.

Those of you who have heard me speak before will know how passionate I am about science and research and its potential to solve problems. That’s why I was very interested to learn that the Foundation is funding research into a new detection method which could enable and early and accurate diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease. The method uses a single-molecule counting technique to detect a promising biomarker [Alpha-synuclein]. This discovery will lead to better outcomes for patients, with clinicians better able to detect Parkinson’s disease at early stages before the onset of clinical signs. This research is the result of Foundation funding. We’re all watching this space very closely and hoping for a positive outcome.

To that end, it’s important that we encourage Australians to help raise funds to speed a cure for Parkinson’s. Collectively, that’s where we can have the most ‘IMPACT’ – which is the campaign theme this year. IMPACT stands for Innovation, Mission, Parkinson’s, Awareness, Collaboration and Treatments. Six words that capture so beautifully the work of the Foundation.

Again, thank you all for being here to help launch the Foundation’s 2021 ‘Pause for Parkinson’s’ campaign. It is imperative we raise the profile of people with Parkinson’s.

  • Twenty per cent of Australians living with Parkinson’s are under 50 years of age and 10 per cent are under 40.
  • Thirty-eight Australians receive the news they have Parkinson’s every day.

That is why the work of the Foundation is so important.

A final word before I hand over to Clyde [Mr Clyde Campbell AM, Founder and CEO, Shake It Up Australia Foundation].

Many of you will have seen the chat between Clyde and me during our Virtual Afternoon Tea session in April of last year, in lieu of being able to hold the campaign launch at Admiralty House. At the end of our chat, Clyde was asked about ‘how he manages to stay positive’. This is what he said: ‘You can’t change everything that happens to you, but you can change what everything means to you. I can be Clyde with Parkinson’s or I can be Clyde who does something about Parkinson’s.’

Clyde – your words are incredibly inspiring and, as Patron of the Shake It Up Foundation, I want to thank you – and the Foundation donors, sponsors, supporters, patients, research institutions and researchers – for all that you do to instil hope in people who have Parkinson’s.

Clyde, you are an outstanding Australian. We – all of us, I’m sure – were thrilled to hear of your appointment to a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List. And, to quote you one more time before handing over to you: ‘I am confident we can find ways to slow, stop and kill Parkinson’s in our lifetime.’ Let’s all keep at it.

It’s now my great pleasure to launch the Shake It Up Australia Foundation’s 2021 ‘Pause for Parkinson’s’ campaign.