On Thursday the 6th of May Maria attended the Thalassaemia Australia Campaign organised by the Murdoch Children’s Institute. The aim was to assist diverse cultural communities in understanding Thalassaemia. The event saw the launch of a fact sheet, ways of increasing community awareness, develop community partnerships and encourage research. Janice Munt Victorian parliamentary secretary for health was the guest speaker and helped launch the event.



Thalassaemia is a group of blood disorders affecting the production of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein found in the blood which carries oxygen around our bodies. Thalassaemia is an inherited gene passed down from parent to child. Thalassaemia is not contagious.

Thalassaemia comes in two forms. Beta (β) Thalassaemia and Alpha (α) Thalassaemia.

Beta Thalassaemia: A person generally inherits two β globin genes for the production of beta globin protein in haemoglobin. A person with an alteration to one of their two β globin genes is called a carrier and is healthy. If two partners are carriers of β Thalassaemia they are at risk of having a child affected by beta Thalassaemia. If a person has alterations to both β globin genes, they have a severe condition called β Thalassaemia major. This requires life long treatment.
Alpha Thalassaemia: A person generally inherits four α globin genes for the production of the alpha globin protein in haemoglobin. A person may have two or three of the normal for alpha globin genes for haemoglobin production. They are a carrier and they are healthy. If two partners are carriers of α Thalassaemia they may be at risk of producing a child affected with Haemoglobin H disease or Bart’s hydrops fetalis. When a person has only one alpha globin gene they have Haemoglobin H disease. If a person has no alpha globin genes they have a severe condition called Bart’s hydrops fetalis. This is a fatal condition which is dangerous for both mother and baby during pregnancy.

The genes for β Thalassaemia are common in people of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian subcontinent and South-east Asian backgrounds. The genes for α Thalassaemia are common in people of Asian origin, as well as those of African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean origin.

If you have anymore inquires as to what Thalassaemia is or if you would like more information please contact or call (03) 9888 2211 or visit






Federal member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou is pleased a ten week consultation period has begun to encourage individuals and communities to have their say about the future of arts and culture in Australia.

  Walk Safely To School Day                                              

 As part of Walk Safely to School Day on May 7th, I went to Bethal Primary and hosted a healthy breakfast for the Grade 5 and 6s. The children were treated to a healthy breakfast to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. During my visit I handed out certificates to the children that visited Parliament House in Canberra. I was impressed with the amount of information the children gained during their stay in our nation’s capital.




“ANZAC day is a day of national commemoration where we honour the memory and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“Their service and sacrifice is epitomized by the spirit of the original ANZACs.”