This week Painaustralia launched a biography, Breaking the Pain Barrier: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Michael J Cousins, written by his patient, Gabriella Kelly-Davies. It is fitting that the occasion coincides with Painaustralia’s 10th anniversary.
Michael was instrumental in founding the organisation as well as several other key pain bodies, including the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian College of Anaesthetists, the Australian chapter of the International Society for the Study of Pain, the Australian Pain Society and the Pain Management Research Institute (now Pain Foundation) at Royal North Shore Hospital.
A passionate advocate for people living with chronic pain, Michael tirelessly crusaded to destigmatise the condition. Through his relentless advocacy he also persuaded governments and organisations internationally to accept access to pain management as a fundamental human right as a well as condition in its own right.
While these achievements are stellar by any measure, they represent the standing that accompanied a 50-year career dedicated to reducing the impact of chronic pain and the very real difference that Michael was able to make in the lives of so many people by reducing their pain.
It is the efforts of trailblazers like Michael that have shifted the conversation to put chronic pain on the national agenda and improve the level of community awareness and support for pain management.
This week is also National Pain Week and we have launched a fact sheet to reiterate the impact that pain has on our communities.
This issue also reviews important sector initiatives Painaustralia has been privileged to be involved in including the Healthy Bones position statement and the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics and the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre’s primary pain care initiative.
Our guest blog is from Rohan Greenland, CEO of MS Australia, who provides an insight into the significance of pain for people living with MS. It is wonderful to see MS Australia championing the need for more research in this area and their support for the National Strategic Action Plan on Pain Management.