Painaustralia’s AGM this week provided the opportunity to reflect back on the year that was 2020. With the pandemic causing snap lockdowns around the country and new arrangements in place for everything from social distancing to attending medical appointments, it was a year that marked the need for resilience and a capacity to embrace change.
Our first Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group meeting for this year held after our AGM provided parliamentarians and guests with an overview of our upgraded National Pain Services Directory which was officially launched by Senator Wendy Askew at the event. The Directory can be found at https://www.painaustralia.org.au/pain-services-directory/pain-directory
It also provided the chance to hear from our pain champion Tara Moss. In a very emotional presentation, Tara outlined the challenges she faces with her own experience of living with chronic regional pain syndrome and how she manages it. She also highlighted the important changes she would like to see to improve the way we support people living with pain. A video of her presentation is available here.
Tara’s words were echoed by two other excellent speakers with lived experience of pain – Canberran Megan Kuleas and Painaustralia Director Sister Mary-Lynne Cochrane both of whom shared their insights.
Other speakers included the Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Ged Kearney who talked to her experience of managing chronic pain as a nurse and the need to prioritise the condition given its impact and prevalence. In closing the event, Dr Geoff Speldewinde (who is our guest contributor in this edition of the newsletter) and Mr David Smith MP provided some thoughtful reflections.
May is Budget month and we provide an overview in this edition of the changes likely to impact people living with pain together with other key policy issues.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge Professor Ian Chubb who has been an excellent chairman to work with. I wish him well with his new endeavours and thank him for his support for our work. I welcome Major General Duncan Lewis to the role of Chair and look forward to working with him as we commence the task of implementing the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management.