A message from incoming Chairman, Major General Duncan Lewis AO DSC CSC
Major General (Ret'd) Duncan Lewis AO DSC CSC
As I take on the role of Chairman of Painaustralia, I am buoyed and inspired by the efforts of those working in this important field and of the organisation’s achievements during its short history. Painaustralia is celebrating its 10thanniversary and it is a privilege to take on the responsibilities as Chair of the Board and to help guide the organisation’s work at this important time. I want to acknowledge the wonderful work and contribution made by my predecessor and friend, Professor Ian Chubb. Ian’s stewardship has been central to positioning Painaustralia in the important role it now plays. I also wish to recognise the great work of the Board and how much I look forward to working together with all our Board members.
The Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt, announced earlier this week at our Painaustralia Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group event that Australian Governments at all levels have endorsed the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management. This is indeed a major achievement and milestone in policy development opportunity for pain management in our community.
Health system reform can take approximately a decade, even when the focus of reform is established and well defined. Considering that chronic pain was a largely invisible condition in the health policy field 10 years ago, it is a great achievement to have made the progress we have.
Today, as I step into the role as chair of our Board, there is a greater community and Government awareness of pain and pain management. Together we better understand the needs of consumers, such as more timely access to consumer-centred interdisciplinary services, there is more research into pain and its causes, and of course new treatment options.
Notwithstanding the great progress made to date, I know more can be done for the 3.4 million Australians living with chronic pain. My focus during my tenure as Chair will be to maintain the current momentum and to build further public awareness of the impact of chronic pain on those who live with it, and those family and friends who support them. Together with the members of the Board we will seek to make the enormous cost of chronic pain to our community better understood.
In conclusion, I am honoured and very pleased to join the Board of Painaustralia. I look forward to engaging with my fellow Board members, our dedicated staff and our many partners, supporters and stakeholders in the coming weeks and months. Our work is important to so many - it deserves our greatest attention.