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Intouch : In Touch Summer 2011-12
IN TOUCH SUMMER 2011 3 We had a successful and productive Dementia Awareness Week (DAW), again sponsored by the NSW Government. Our excellent staff were able to use that sponsorship to widely promote the problems that dementia poses. Each year during DAW we are more likely to get coverage on major television programs, our Helpline gets many more calls and people generally are much more aware of why we exist and of what we are trying to achieve. All of those things happened this year and we are pleased at the extra media coverage that our staff members have gained in the past couple of years. It is splendid. There is still too little understanding in too many important places of the large numbers of Australians who will have dementia in the next few years. There was no evidence that this matter was recognised in the report of the Productivity Commission; and the Federal Government has also decided, sadly, to terminate the Dementia Initiative. Such irresponsibility and short sightedness! RECENT EVENTS On 26 September we hosted Canadian expert Professor John Breitner at a breakfast meeting with health professionals and an open meeting. He was splendid and, since one of our goals is earlier diagnosis of dementia, this visit was helpful and productive. The feedback from around Australia was very positive. On 4 August we had a meeting of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Dementia in NSW State Parliament. Attendance at the meeting was good and Ita Buttrose was her usual wonderful self. Parliamentary speeches followed in both Houses and we were very pleased with this exercise and with the productive, open meeting of the NSW Parliamentary Friends. CHANGES TO THE BOARD At the recent AGM, Dr Robert Yeoh AM and Professor Maree Gleeson OAM stood down as Directors. Both have performed mightily for us. Robert has been State and Federal Chairman and, at present, serves internationally on the Board of Alzheimer's Disease International, the peak international body. Maree is a Professor of Immunology in Newcastle, and we are very grateful for the trips she has made down to North Ryde for our Board meetings. We will miss both and wish them well. We are now rebalancing the Board, with people who know a lot about dementia and people who understand good governance; we are indeed fortunate to have a good mix of fne people today. The Hon. Prof. Peter Baume AC, Chair, AlzNSW NEW LOOK, SAME WORK CEO'S MESSAGE Welcome to the new- look In touch magazine. The changes to In touch are part of the new national brand identity of Alzheimer's Australia, launched on Thursday 13 October with the Fight Dementia March on Parliament House in Canberra. We hope you like the new look of Alzheimer's Australia and agree it will help us to raise awareness; increase understanding of dementia and the issues faced by people with dementia, their carers and families; and generate political and social change. Rest assured, we are still the same organisation and will still provide our much- needed services as well as policy and advocacy leadership around NSW. A big thank you to Andrew Mills, General Manager of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising for AlzNSW, who has led the project nationally. MOVE FOR DEMENTIA Thank you also to everyone who attended Alzheimer’s Australia’s frst ever march on Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 13 October. The march was part of the Fight Dementia Campaign, which seeks to secure $500 million over fve years in Federal Government funding in the 2012/2013 Federal Budget. It was a very successful event and featured speeches by Alzheimer's Australia President Ita Buttrose, Ageing Minister The Hon. Mark Butler MP, Shadow Ageing Minister Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Federal Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-Convenor Sharon Grierson MP. Also speaking at the march was Judy Woolstencroft, a carer for her partner, Chris, who was diagnosed with younger onset dementia at the age of 56; and Kate Swaffer who was diagnosed in her late 40s with younger onset dementia. It was a great day and we believe our important message was well received. It is vital we keep making sure our voice is heard with our NSW Federal MPs and Senators. More on page 10. DEMENTIA AWARENESS WEEK Thank you to everyone who helped us stage another successful Dementia Awareness Week. It was a busy week, with activities around the state. You can read all about it on page 8. Thank you also to all who have helped our members and people with dementia, their families and carers in NSW in 2011. It has been a very busy and productive year and I hope you all are able to enjoy a well-deserved rest. All the best for a happy and safe festive season and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2012. The Hon. John Watkins, CEO, AlzNSW CHAIR'S MESSAGE DEMENTIA IN THE MEDIA
In Touch Issue 78
In Touch Autumn 2012