Mito Foundation works to drive improvements in services available for the mito community, encourage research into mitochondrial disease (mito) and ensure that treatments for mito are available. We do this in collaboration with mito community members who contribute their experiences to setting our advocacy priorities, informing our submissions and being involved in policy development that affects the mito community.

Our advocacy priorities

Our current advocacy work covers several goals:

Preventing mito

Our work to give Australian families access to mitochondrial donation continues as we look towards the start of the pilot program. Mitochondrial donation is an IVF technique with the potential to prevent mitochondrial disease in the next generation. We are supporting expanded access to reproductive carrier screening for severe childhood forms of mito, which can give future parents options to avoid having a child with mito.

Improving diagnosis of mito

We ensured that the voice of the mito community was prominent in the decision to fund whole genome sequencing for diagnosing mito through Medicare.

We are working with our network of mito specialists to increase how much general practitioners know about mito and connect them to mito specialist services when they think one of their patients may have mito.

Improving life with mito

As we prepare for targeted treatments for mito to become available, Mito Foundation is working with other rare disease organisations to ensure that Australians can access new treatments through clinical trials, medicine approvals and reimbursements.

Improving health services for people with mito is a high priority. Mito Foundation has supported the development of the first Australian Patient Care Standards and will continue to work with mito specialist health professionals to improve access to high-quality care throughout Australia.

Mito Foundation also works with the mito community to improve disability, education, workplace and financial supports. We do this by contributing to reforms in these sectors to ensure that people impacted by mito have the support they need to live great lives.

Advancing research into mito

We work with others to advocate for increased funding for research into mito, including through the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Medical Research Future Fund. We also support other work to support the research workforce, improve consumer involvement in medical research and ensure Australian sites in international clinical trials.

Taking action to reduce the burden of mito

Research commissioned by Mito Foundation has revealed, for the first time, the true cost of mito in Australia. The cost to the Australian economy each year is estimated to be over $1 billion.

The findings in this research highlight the importance of the above advocacy priorities. We have summarised this research and what needs to be done to reduce the impact of mito here: Taking action on the preventable burden of mito.

Key partnerships

Mito Foundation works with many other organisations to drive change, including:

Get In Touch

If you'd like to learn more about the foundation's policy and advocacy work or get in touch about a recent submission, please reach out to Clare Stuart, our Policy and Advocacy Manager.  You can call on 1300 977 180 or email

Clare Stuart headshot

Clare Stuart

Policy and Advocacy Manager

Clare leads Mito Foundation's work to advocate for improvements to health, disability and social support for people living with mito. She has a Masters in Public Health, has worked in policy development with NSW Ministry of Health and has managed another Australian rare disease organisation.

Clare played a key role in the establishment of Rare Voices Australia and was a member of the steering committee for the first National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases. Clare's passion for improving the lives of people with mito and other rare conditions is fuelled by her experience as a sister of Lizzie, who lived with a rare genetic condition.

Originally from Sydney, Clare now lives in Orange in the Central West region of NSW. When not working for The Mito Foundation, she can often be found on the ultimate frisbee field, on her stand up paddle board or volunteering as an ethics teacher at her childrens' school.