Home' Intouch : In Touch Summer 2017 Contents SUMMER 2017 IN TOUCH 3
As this year ends, it is appropriate
to consider how important the
recent unification of our state -based
organisations and the creation of
Dementia Australia have been
in enabling us to better face the
dementia challenge. I’m convinced
that these changes were essential for
the future care of people living with
dementia. The reforms mean that we
will speak with one unified voice, that
we will be able to be efficient, professional and focused in
delivering services and to be up -to -date and responsive in a
world where all of those qualities will be essential.
When you consider that there will be more than one
million Australians living with dementia within 15 years, it is
clear that reform was essential. Putting it bluntly, we have
never faced a health and social challenge like the dementia
epidemic. Dementia changes individuals, affects families and
communities, and will change the face of Australia.
Our organisaton was created almost 35 years ago when
carers and loving family members came together to speak
up for those with dementia. Those original activists called for
better information, improved diagnosis, high-quality services
and more understanding. We have never lost sight of our
commitment to the needs of those with dementia. We now
need to redouble our efforts. I’m especially mindful of those
who have just been diagnosed or those who will become
aware of the condition over the coming festive season. This
group needs sensitive, responsive and urgent assistance.
It is satisfying that many of those Australians will receive
advice, service and comfort from Dementia Australia, but
there are still too many who don’t know us or the help that
we can provide. There is much still to be done.
Since it seems an early federal election is a possibility, it is
essential that we work to ensure all federal political leaders
are thinking about dementia and are willing to make it an
issue for concerted action.
This is my last official communication as the CEO of
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, and I would like to express my
thanks to members, supporters and donors for your support
over the years, as well as thanks for our hard -working staff
and incredible volunteers and Ambassadors.
Finally, I would like to offer you the season’s greetings. I
hope that the festive season is for you and your loved ones
a time of peace, rest and contentment. Thank you for all the
kindness and support you have given me over the years.
I am very pleased to have been asked to be a Dementia
Australia Ambassador. It was a privilege to accept and so I
will continue my involvement with this cause.
The Hon. John Watkins AM
CEO, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
The official change of name to
Dementia Australia has provided
an opportunity to reflect on my
time with the organisation, how
far we have come and what the
future looks like.
During my years as Chairman
of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW,
I have worked with a countless
number of dedicated staff, and
this has given me a tremendous
amount of joy. Alongside them,
the overwhelming support offered by our amazing
volunteers has also been a pleasure to witness.
Of course, there has been an ongoing need for
financial support to meet the ever-increasing demand
for our services. The loyal support of our donors and
fundraisers in this regard has been unwavering and has
enabled us to achieve great things.
I would also like to acknowledge my fellow Board
members, whom I thank for their enthusiasm and
commitment to this important cause, in selflessly
offering their time and experience to further the
success of this organisation.
It is the selfless giving of all these people that has
helped us make a continuing and tangible difference
to the lives of people living with dementia, their
families and carers right across our state. We should
all be very proud.
It is with pleasure and pride that we enter this new
chapter in our organisation’s histor y, an important step
that will strengthen dementia advocacy in Australia long
into the future.
Of course, at the heart of everything we do we
keep our consumers firmly in mind – the people who
rely on us day in, day out, to support them through
one of life’s most difficult journeys. I have no doubt
that becoming a single, unified organisation will result
in improved outcomes for those people, particularly
as our population ages and dementia prevalence
continues to increase, and encourage more people to
seek out our services.
As the transitional period continues, I would like to
provide reassurance that we will continue to deliver
the important services we provide. Our dedicated staff
are committed to maintaining continuity and quality of
service above all else.
As I officially complete my tenure as Chairman,
I would like to once again thank everybody who
has contributed in any way to the success of our
organisation during my time here, and all those who
came before us. Together, we have created something
truly special that will continue to support people living
with dementia long into the future. It has truly been a
pleasure and a privilege.
Paul Robertson AM
Chair, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
7/12/17 4:58 pm
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