On behalf of the Gold Coast Ostomy Association members and Executive, I am happy to provide the President’s report on the activities carried out by our Association for 2019.
Another year has passed and the Association has had many challenges for the committee, volunteers and members of our Association. we have a new Vice President elected to the Executive Committee at the last AGM. The Executive Committee consists of Rod Pickett (President), Wayne Ford (Vice President), Terri Cowls (Secretary), Peter Lopez (Treasurer). We have had several of our volunteers step back and take a break from the Association and others come forward to replace them.
Stoma Appliance Scheme (SAS) adjustments, personnel changes with staff all have an impact on the day to day workings of the association. There are now over 3000 products available on the SAS and there have been several products which have been deleted or replaced during the year. This makes it difficult for our members when ordering and ourselves in trying to provide suitable products for our members, this is where our stoma nurse becomes very helpful.
Resident GCOA STN
The GCOA STN Elaine Lambie is available to assist all members with all stoma related enquiries. Elaine is available at our Dunkirk Close premises Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am to 2pm. No appointment is necessary with a walk in numbering system.
Our membership is fluctuating around 1200, with the number of new members growing at the same rate as the number of members being reversed or members passing away and moving on to new Associations.
I am pleased to advise that we have been successful with the renewal of our lease for another 26 years. As part of our renewal process for the council we have obtained a building inspection and provided a maintenance programme for the building and surrounds. Unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you wish to look at the situation we have to replace most of the steel posts supporting the building and drainage work to prevent further damage. We are currently in the process of doing this and keeping the council updated with our progress, we are currently in a financial position to do this but if any of our members know a benevolent benefactor who may wish to make a donation to the Association Building Fund it will gladly be accepted with gratitude.
We have a new Distribution Area Supervisor, Wayne Ford. He has been at the forefront of implementing new distribution procedures to standardise picking and delivery of member’s products. We have established an upgrade of equipment and storage facilities which will significantly reduce the Association’s functioning costs. Our volunteers have embraced the new system and are ensuring it is progressing forward, ironing out any teething problems.
This year we have had a turnover of several of our long term volunteers and some taking on new roles within the Association. Those who had to learn new procedures have taken to the challenges with enthusiasm and have had great success. Our volunteers have brought a positive attitude and work ethic to the Association. It is a well-balanced and happy work environment.
New Phone System
NBN has arrived and with it a new phone system is needed, as it turns out our old system is not compatible with NBN and we were put into a position of finding a reliable replacement at a competitive price, mission complete and the new system will be up and running by the end of February. Please be patient and remember we are volunteers doing our best to assist you while learning a new phone system.
Over the past year we have had changes to cost of postage by Australia Post, unfortunately we have no option but to pass these costs onto our members. There is a new system for 2020 with Parcel Send replacing eParcel. Your order will arrive as before with upgraded security and tracking.
Stomal Therapy Clinics
In the latter half of 2019 we hosted a clinic for the Stoma Nurses (STN) in our area, it was well received by the STNs and some very good points came out of the clinic. It was also decided that these clinics need to be twice yearly. Our own STN Elaine also carried out a training session for the nurses and carers of Ostomates in nursing homes and was open to other interested member’s carers.
Griffith University Placements
We are hoping to continue our interest in hosting Griffith University medical students in the Association for them to gain firsthand knowledge about ostomy, ostomates and how the Association works and assists its members.
In summary, I am pleased with what our Association has achieved over the past 12 months and I am looking forward to the next 12 months as your President.
Rod Pickett President GCOA