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Introduction

The Governor of Victoria's speech for Daniher's Drive 2018.

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The Honourable Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria
Mr Neale Daniher, Founder of FightMND, Mrs Jan Daniher and the Daniher family
Mr Bill Guest, Chair, FightMND
Mr Jamie Howden, CEO, FightMND
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this morning.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House to launch the 2018 Daniher’s Drive. What a sight it is: all these vehicles lined up in front of Government House.

But standing here, we see so much more than just these cars.  

We see and feel the energy, enthusiasm and heartfelt commitment towards MND research shown by each one of you – the 360 participants, about to embark on the ‘tour for a cure’.

All of you have in common that you have raised money. You are raising awareness. And you want to ensure that our brilliant scientists can continue in their urgent efforts to find a cure for this disease.

Actually, I know that you also have in common that you are up for ‘fun-raising’ as well as ‘fund-raising’ while you travel in the next four days.

Otherwise, you come from all different parts of our State, and country, from different backgrounds, and are motivated by different experiences.

Some of you have family or friends who have been through, or are currently on the difficult journey of MND. Others simply want to lend a hand.

Of course, he likes to play it down, but Neale Daniher has inspired many of you – and many well beyond this group – to be involved in this important cause. In my (admittedly, completely biased) book, as an Essendon supporter, I note that Neale has many achievements to his name, but nothing can match the courage with which he has brought the issue of MND to the fore.

And nothing can match what has been built, thanks to Neale, and those around him – including family, friends, the AFL family, doctors, researchers and the Board members and staff of ‘Fight MND’.  

Neale’s foresight has meant that these fundraising and awareness raising initiatives no longer depend just on his own efforts, or those closely associated with him. He and others have helped build something sustainable. Something that will not stop until the cure is found.

And so today we wish you all ‘Safe Travels’ as you set off on the Tour. May you raise unprecedented funds, spread the word about MND research, and be a great source of support and encouragement to all those fighting MND.

And, of course, be safe and have fun on this important road-trip.

Shortly it will be my pleasure to start the annual Daniher’s Drive.

But first I am pleased to invite the Premier to address us.