WRITE TO YOUR MP OR SENATOR
Signing a petition or writing your name on the bottom of a form letter doesn’t adequately tell your Member of Parliament (MP) or Senator about your needs. A short hand written or printed and signed personal letter will have an impact, especially if you are asking them to address specific inadequacies in the health system and the support and care provided to people living with Parkinson's.
The more letters that MPs and Senators receive the more likely they are to recognise that care and support of people living with Parkinson's is an issue that the Government needs to address. You might also consider writing to the Government Ministers and Opposition Shadow Ministers.
Tips for Writing Letters
Include your name and address - so that they can respond to you and they will generally pay more attention if they know you live in their electorate
Keep it brief - tell them why you are writing at the start of the letter (e.g. I am writing to you because...). Keep your letter short, 2 pages is good, one page is better.
Personalise the letter - use your own words, tell your story about how Parkinson's affects you and your family.
Be clear about what you want then to do - focus on what action you want them to take (e.g. support people living with Parkinson's having better access to Parkinson's nurses; increase the amount invested in Parkinson's research, etc.). If they are on the back bench ask them to raise the issue with the Minister for Health.
Invite them - invite them to attend a support group meeting in their local area. Nothing impacts more that hearing first hand about the issues that you face.
Ask for a response - whilst you may only receive a standard response to your letter at least you will know it has been read and the more letters like yours they receive the more likely they will be to act.
Avoid a negative tone - don't be overly critical and, of course, be polite in your language. Be positive in the way that you ask for something (e.g. Parkinson's Nurses will help keep people out of hospital and residential aged care and improve their quality of life).
Address details for all MPs and Senators can be found here.
Find out if your local federal MP and Senators is a member of Parliamentary Friends of Parkinson's