TIMELINE HISTORY OF THE MYOSITIS ASSOCIATION – AUSTRALIA INC
2002 – The Myositis Association – Australia started as one of the many Keep in Touch groups of The Myositis Association America. Anita Chalmers was the founding coordinator and was given a list of 12 names of people living in Australia and New Zealand.
August 2002 – First newsletter went out. Anita had written on this first newsletter – “We came as strangers and left as friends”, which has been synonymous with the Association ever since the first meeting.
October 24, 2003 – The first official Myositis Day meeting was held with 10 members in Sydney. The guest speaker on that day was Assoc Prof Allan Sturgess.
April, 2004 – The first get together of the West Australian group was held with four members attending on the day.
June 19, 2004 – The Victorian group was established by George Scott following a meeting held at the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Melbourne. The meeting was attended by approx 25 people. Guest speaker was Dr. Bev Phillips.
July, 2007 – The first Queensland meeting was held on the Gold Coast and was organized by Melissa Elboz with 9 members attending.
March 5, 2007 – Application to become an Incorporated group was granted by the Department of Fair Trading NSW. At this stage the Association knew that there were over 150 people throughout Australia with Myositis. Application for charitable status was then made, and was subsequently granted. This enabled the Association to fund raise and seek donations which were tax deductible.
August 2007 – Establishment of the Australian Website created by Melissa Elboz of Queensland. 24 registered users took part in the forum section.
2007 and 2008 – Representatives of the Association had meetings in Canberra with representatives from the Minister for Health to see if they could generate any interest with regard to Myositis Research, and to look at ideas on how to raise awareness of the Myositis diseases. Unfortunately neither of these meetings was successful
2007 – The Myositis Association Australia Inc staged a National Myositis Awareness Week. Functions were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Myositis Awareness Day ribbons were also distributed in most states.
2008 – West Australian group was reformed under the leadership of Teri Hayes.
2008 – Assoc Prof Allan Sturgess became Patron of The Myositis Association – Australia Inc.
April 29th, 2008 – A meeting was held at the Arthritis Foundation Head Office in South Australia with the intention of forming a support group for people with Myositis in SA. John Begg became the leader of the new group and from the floor, four people offered to help – Rowena Atkinson, Christine James, Trevor Neumann and Rosemary Vaughan.
August 19, 2013 – First National Myositis Conference was held in Adelaide with over 100 attendees and 10 guest speakers.
2014 – Life Memberships awarded to Anita Chalmers, Bob Martin and Dan Joyce.
2014 – Two further research grants have been awarded. One grant is to a group in WA to develop a myositis specific blood test and the other a Victorian group researching exercise particularly for IBM patients. The TMAA website is relaunched with a new logo developed to convey the concepts of support, connection, and keeping in touch.
2015 – Life member and generous supporter Bob Martin passed away. He is sadly missed by all.
2016 – The 2nd National Conference was held on 10 -12 October, 2016 at the Novotel Wollongong – contact Dan Joyce email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for a copies of DVD’s of the speakers excellent presentations.
2017 – George Scott, Victorian Co-Ordinator since 2004 passed away. He understood, he cared and he made a difference.
2018 – Anita Chalmers, Founding member 2002, Secretary since 2003 and Life member is awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) for her outstanding community service.
2019 – The 3rd National Conference is planned for 2nd week of May in 2019. Dates and location to be advised.