We held our Annual General Meeting at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club, with more than 60 attendees representing branches and support groups from the Blue Mountains, Holroyd, Long Jetty, Macarthur, Ryde, Wagga Wagga, Warilla/Shellharbour and Wollongong.
Major updates and announcements made on the day include the following:
1. Our Board
Members re-elected board members Allan Ryan, Amanda Harvey and Cosi Pupo, as well as appointment Lynn Garlick, Nigel Corne and Murray Smith to the board.
2. Honour Roll
This year we inducted two past members, Enid Monaghan OAM and Carol Barnes, onto the Honour Roll for their outstanding contribution to the organisation.
Enid was a founding member of the Parramatta Branch, past president of the Gosford Branch and oversaw the establishment of other support groups on the Central Coast. She was awarded an Order of Australia medal for her voluntary service to the Foundation and other causes. Enid lived with rheumatoid arthritis from the age of 30 and her contribution to the organisation spanned nearly 40 years of inspiring and dedicated service.
As the primary author of the Moving On self-management program, Carol was a significant contributor to the Foundation over a period of more than 20 years. For 12 years she provided information and lifestyle counseling as a telephone patient educator, and in the 1980s she travelled Australia to provide self-help education to people with rheumatoid arthritis, which she lived with from the age of 18.
3. Honorary Life Memberships
This award recognises members of branches and support groups, with a minimum continuous membership of 10 years, who have made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of people living with arthritis, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions.
This year, Honorary Life Memberships were awarded to John Churchill and Gladys Hampson for their contribution as pool leaders for 10 and 16 years, respectively. In addition, John was nominated for being one of Warilla-Shellharbour Branch’s “best treasurers”, and Gladys for her long-term support of Long Jetty Support Group’s raffles, stalls and general business.
We would like to thank BJC Health for donating a copy of their Anti-Inflammatory Eating cookbook, Event Cinemas Macquarie for donating Gold Class movie passes and Hollydene Estate Wines for donating a restaurant voucher to the AGM raffle.
We also wish to thank our guest speaker, Juliet Roosendaal, who spoke about combating negativity (from the pain and challenges of arthritis) with gratitude and service. Her story about finding purpose through her work with the Foundation, including raising awareness and funds for better rheumatology services in Newcastle, was inspirational. She stressed the importance of learning one’s limitations and being mindful of negative self-talk.