Season’s Greetings and best wishes for the holiday season – wherever you are across Australia – stay safe, healthy and happy.
We can’t wait to share some extraordinary news with you, which will amplify awareness and change the narrative around endometriosis throughout Australia. Community Service Announcements (CSAs) across radio, free-to-air TV, socials as well as community research. Wait! There’s more! Outdoor advertising all over the country! Plus, a news and digital endometriosis campaign throughout March! But it doesn’t end there – these are ‘always on’ campaigns beyond March Endometriosis Australia Awareness Month.
Our March into Yellow awareness and education campaign priority is rural and regional areas, where residents desperately need access to diagnosis information, compassionate medical care and timely referral advice. We are also seeking to shine the yellow torch for those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are challenged by stigma and taboos, First Nations females need access to culturally sensitive information on women’s health, and we will be working with Yarning Circles to get the message out.
As always, we will be focussed on those with endometriosis who need empowerment to manage symptoms, those who are challenged by fertility, and undiagnosed girls, women and AFAB living with pelvic pain, waiting between 6 and 8 years for diagnosis.
I am delighted to announce the appointment of a new Board member – welcome Antara Mascarenhas who has served as an Ambassador with distinction.
We are sad to say adieu to Board Member Gai Brodtmann, Gai joined the Board of Endometriosis Australia in July 2020, and her wise counsel and advocacy were invaluable. The distinguished Former Member of Parliament for Canberra, was the first to end the silence around endometriosis in the House of Representatives when in 2017, with a 90-second statement that went viral on Facebook. She spoke up about “misdiagnosis myths, operations, hysterectomies in their 20s, endless operations, lost opportunities, impact on mental health, the cost, the pain, and the daily struggle to take control of their lives”. She brought the endometriosis groups together to advocate for and inform the development of the National Action Plan on Endometriosis (NAPE).
After co-founding the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Endometriosis Awareness, she said “We are well overdue for acknowledgement of this insidious disease; the physical cost, psychological cost, the professional cost, to these women and their families and loved ones.”
This was the catalyst for change. In 2018, Minister for Health, Prof the Hon Greg Hunt said, “On behalf of all of those in parliament and all of those who have been responsible for our medical system, I apologise. This condition should have been acknowledged at an earlier time in a more powerful way and will never be forgotten again.”
Thank you, Gai.
In September, Endometriosis Australia finally received a Grant Opportunity under the NAPE for Priority Populations. While we await news of the outcome, I want to thank the ‘Minister for Endo’ Hon Ged Kearney and the Department of Health and Aged Care Endometriosis Secretariat, for their work during 2023. The 22 Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics are a highlight.
Over the Christmas break, know you’re not alone, you are part of the Endometriosis Australia community. You may wish to take the opportunity to review blogs and resources and watch some videos. This SBS Insight special was produced by our Chair Monica Forlano, and features some brave women sharing their own experiences with endometriosis, and our co-founder Professor Jason Abbott. Assoc Prof Mike Armour from Western Sydney University discusses Endo@Work research, a partnership with Endometriosis Australia.
While you’re with your family and friends during the holiday season, talk about your endometriosis journey and its impact on your life. The greater the awareness, the greater the understanding.
On a personal note, I look forward to gratefully enjoying my blessings – 3 grandchildren, my parents, husband, three children and 2 Bichoodles, ahead of a stellar 2024 for endometriosis awareness.
We celebrated Endometriosis Australia’s 10th birthday this year, and are grateful to the co-founders Donna Ciccia, Professor Jason Abbott and Dennis Robertson. Thank you to the wonderful volunteer Board and Clinical Advisory Committee members, volunteer coordinators and all of you for your commitment. Our Ambassadors, Endo Champs – TOGETHER WE CAN END ENDO.
Click here to read the December 2023 Newsletter.
CEO Endometriosis Australia