It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new CEO of Lung Foundation Australia.
I have joined at a very exciting time for the organisation. My team, along with the support of hundreds of health professionals and people living with lung disease, have developed Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions. Through this plan, we are shining a light on lung health in Australia and the urgent need for increased investment in lung disease research, services and support. This follows on from the release of Making Lung Cancer a Fair Fight: A Blueprint for Reform – a first-of-its-kind report launched at the Parliamentary Friends of Lung Health event on 24 October which was attended by politicians and key opinion leaders to mark the launch of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November.
We are also pleased to announce the launch of our new website. The website was developed in consultation with consumers and key stakeholders and provides a central source of information and resources to support people of all ages living with lung disease.
Since starting in September, I have had the privilege of speaking with many patients and their families. After hearing their personal stories, it has reinforced the importance of the work we do – improving lung health for all Australians and supporting people living with a lung disease at every stage of their journey.
It is always inspiring to come across those who are passionate about the cause, and I would like to give a special mention to Bill van Nierop. He recently completed the Long Kayak for Lungs – a gruelling 42-day, 2,200-kilometre kayaking journey along the Murray River, which raised an incredible $90,000 to support Australians living with lung disease. Thank you Bill for your endurance and continued support of Lung Foundation Australia.
Finally, thank you to our readers. Your generous support helps us fund more life-changing research and provide much-needed support services, as well as continue to advocate for the millions of people affected by this neglected disease area.
Chief Executive Officer