Friday the 7th of February was an important day on The Florey’s calendar for 2020. The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and Mr Anthony Howard AM AC chose to visit the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health. This visit was a great opportunity for Professor Graeme Jackson and AEP Lived Experience Advocate Rachel Vella to advocate for all the hard work that has been put into the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) to date. Having both Professor Graeme Jackson and Rachel in this meeting ensured that the Governor could see the potential of the AEP from both a medical and a personal perspective.

Rachel writes of the experience:

‘My role as a lived experience ambassador has allowed me to share my journey with epilepsy, including my diagnosis and successful surgery to help promote the AEP. Without the advanced MRI scans and technology to pinpoint my epilepsy, surgery and an independent life wouldn’t have been a possibility.

I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a positive experience with my surgery and journey with epilepsy, but I know that this is not the case for many individuals. With the help of the talented AEP team, I am confident that the ground-breaking research being undertaken in the field of epilepsy will be able to restore quality of life for many Australians.

It was an honour to be able to tell my story to such an important woman in Australian politics. I appreciate the Governor and Mr Howard’s interest, and am thankful for their continued support in helping to get the word out about the Florey’s impact on the health and wealth of Victorians.’

Rachel Vella

Lived Experience Ambassador for the Australian Epilepsy Project

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