Governor General launches Parliamentary Friends Group
The Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Painaustralia CEO, Carol Bennett
On Tuesday 6 October, the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Mrs Hurley, formally launched our Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group at an event held at Government House and online.
His Excellency highlighted the importance of pain and pain management in Australia, as the number of Australians living with pain continues to rise.
“Right now, 3.4 million Australians are living with chronic pain. It’s debilitating for those people, for a whole host of reasons that are well known. Carers, families and friends are also impacted. As are medical centres, hospitals, workplaces and economies. The impacts of pain run deep and wide.”
“COVID has made things difficult for people living with chronic pain. Not being able to exercise, for example, can have psycho-social effects and, in turn, exacerbate chronic pain. Waiting times to see pain specialists have increased to 12 months in some public clinics. There is a degree of uncertainty about our future. The time is well and truly now to do something about it, and that is why you are here.”
The Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends Group, Senator Wendy Askew, and the Hon David Smith MP, Member for Bean, spoke of their commitment to raising the awareness of the issue of pain in parliament and in the community and called for more government support for this national issue.
“The Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group has been formed over recent months with a key aim of raising the awareness of chronic pain and the management of that pain with our peers in Parliament House and in our community,” said Senator Askew.
"It is anticipated that more than five million Australians will be living with chronic pain by 2050. That is why we need to act now to ensure access to the correct services and support for the management of pain into the future."
“We have the capacity to be a real catalyst in bringing together experts, practitioners, as well as people who have suffered the challenges of pain management, in many cases, over decades. The support and advocacy of such a group, with such amazing champions, will go a long way in helping to raise the awareness of the impact that chronic pain can have on ourselves, our loved ones, and our community,” added Mr Smith.
The event also marked the announcement of award-winning author, Tara Moss, as Painaustralia’s latest Pain Champion, who will be an invaluable advocator and help to build a better understanding of pain within the community to address issues of discrimination, misunderstanding and stigmatisation. Keep reading for a Q&A with Tara below.