Minister Hunt notes that “funding will be provided through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to help researchers develop a better understanding of the cause and condition of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)… diagnosis of ME/CFS is difficult, with no diagnostic test and a diverse range of symptoms… Research will drive a better understanding of the condition along with its causes and the mechanisms that lead to its debilitating symptoms.”
Here at Emerge Australia we are making this announcement with enormous thanks to each and every person in this community who has helped our advocacy efforts. This is for everyone who wrote a letter, asked for a meeting with a politician, met with a politician, took a photo for #MillionsMissing, joined a group online, told their story to us.. and all of the many many other individual pieces of advocacy that you all did.
We especially want to thank Simone Eyssens (#MEActionNetwork Australia and Research Director at Emerge Australia) and Penelope McMillan (President of ME/CFS SA and Board Member of ME/CFS Australia Ltd) who gave hours and hours in preparation, meetings and consultation to the NHMRC Advisory Committee. Their incredible hard work and dedication to improving the quality of life of people with ME/CFS has really helped Australia to start moving the dial.
$3m is a start. It is a start to attracting new researchers into the field. It is a kick start to the labs currently working in this area in Australia.
More than anything else though it is a message to the world that Australia is starting to see us – and hear us. And that we know that ME/CFS is a devastating illness with a biomedical origin. And we want to cure it.