From the President's report, by David Menadue:
The beginning of the year 2003 was a difficult one for the organisation as we learnt of the illness of our President, Phillip Medcalf. Phillip had been a highly committed and hard-working President who had the love and respect of all the board and staff at NAPWA – and was well-known and appreciated by the many state member groups which he had visited during his time as Vice-President and President of the organisation.
Phillip’s particular passion was to increase the profile through vehicles such as the NAPWA website, and its current form and direction are a tribute to his work in this area. He was also a peace-maker and diplomat who worked hard to see that fellow members of the Board and all the member groups felt connected to the work of the organisation. He is sadly missed and his great contribution to NAPWA will not be forgotten.
In my role as Vice-President I acted in Phillip’s stead since December 2002 and was acting President following Phillip’s death in February 2003. I was subsequently confirmed in the President’s role at our April 2003 Special General Meeting. My main roles in that time have been to work closely with the Board, Portfolio Convenors, NAPWA Executive Officer, Jo Watson and staff on a number of projects and tasks.
I have been working with Board and staff to make sure the 9th NAPWA Biennial National Conference entitled ‘The Art of Living’ happens in Cairns in October 2003. This conference is a wonderful opportunity for us all to share our current experience of living with HIV, but also to firm up our resolve to address current gaps and needs for positive people around the country.
I have worked closely with all the NAPWA Convenors on their workplans for the year. These have included participating in the establishment of the NAPWA Care and Support Network and its teleconferences, and looking at particular concerns such as welfare reform, changes to Medicare and the need for positive people to be able to gain non-discriminatory insurance policies – an ongoing battle!
Much progress has been made in the Indigenous Portfolio in the establishment of the Indigenous Positive Network (IPN Indigenous Positive Network. Now known as PATSIN (Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network).+) after their meeting in Adelaide in June 2003. This was a great step-forward in building a much-needed network to explore the particular needs of indigenous positive people.
The International and Treatments portfolios have achieved major things with their work alongside NAPWA Secretariat staff, to plan and host a Papua New Guinea project that will see 15 HIV positive people from PNG Papua New Guinea come together at our national conference and a subsequent two- day workshop. This is an exciting example of the development in these two portfolios which extends NAPWA’s work beyond our borders to work with positive people in our region. Other portfolios have also produced some major pieces of work and I urge you to read their reports to get a good idea of the breadth of the work of this organisation during the year.
I have worked with NAPWA staff on a range of projects. These included working with Kirsty Machon when she organised a training day for NAPWA representatives on National Centre in HIV Epidemiology The branch of medical science that deals with the study of incidence and distribution and control of a disease in a population. and Clinical Pertaining to or founded on observation and treatment of participants, as distinguished from theoretical or basic science. Research working groups. John Rule and I have worked closely together trying to get HIV awareness training courses up for the people assessing positive people in Centrelink and various private agencies. I worked with Paul Kidd and Jo Watson on the transfer of Positive Living to NAPWA’s management.
Jo Watson and I attended the Community Secretariat Support Scheme (CSSS) funding review in May, 2003 and were complimented by the assessment team on the range of our activities and our effective governance model. It was noted that the change to a system of a separate Board of Directors and Portfolio Convenors has increased the involvement of people in the organisation. The need for regular Board and Convenor face-to-face meetings (outside of general membership meetings) was noted as was the extra funding and planning involved with these meetings.
I have produced a number of press releases to try to lift our profile as the national peak organisation for positive people. These have included releases on changes to Medicare and the medical cannabis issue. The media has contacted me frequently over HIV issues, such as HIV vaccines and various scientific developments and it is clear to me that our organisation is now more obviously on the radar of the national press than in the past. I also wrote an article for AFAO Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. AFAO is the peak non-government organisation representing Australia's community-based response to HIV/AIDS. AFAO's work includes education, policy, advocacy and international projects. ’s publication HIV Australia on current issues for positive people.
I represented the organisation on the board of AFAO, the Board of Governors of the AIDS Trust and attended the AIDS Impact Conference in Milan in July with partial NAPWA support.
I have been honoured to have been President of NAPWA over this time when the organisation is so vibrant and effective in the work that it does. It is an interesting and important observation that at this time of the epidemic when there is much talk of complacency and disengagement from the HIV sector, our organisation has managed to increase our funding and greatly increase our output and influence on HIV issues. I attribute this to a number of things including an energetic and enthusiastic Board of Directors and National Portfolio Convenors and particularly to the high quality work and commitment from the staff of the NAPWA secretariat.
I want to make a special acknowledgment and tribute to our Executive officer, Jo Watson. Jo has been a very effective manager of the organisation: she has been one of the main negotiators for NAPWA’s increase in resources from government in recent years, and has overseen a huge increase in the workload and quality of work from the organisation. We owe her a special thanks for the way the organisation has grown and been managed, with so few gliches and so many achievements. Thank you, Jo.
The secretariat staff are also a highly talented and committed bunch. Kirsty Machon, John Rule, Paul Kidd, Scott Lockhart, Nicola Addison, Kevin Barwick, Michael Dwyer, and in the ATPA, Brent Beadle, and Tony Maynard, have all made a major contribution to the success of our organisation over the past year and I would like to thank them very much, on behalf of the membership. May we continue to make a real difference for the lives of positive people in this country.
|NAPWA Annual Report 2002-03 ||386.25 KB|