Our Strategic Planning meeting was held on Monday 22 August at Northcote Town Hall. To our delight, about 70 people attended. Some were already Polio Support Group members, others had attended Polio Days but many had not been previously to any polio related meetings. There were also representatives from Independence Australia, Polio Services Victoria, Rotary and the Council of Self Help Groups.
The meeting was expertly facilitated by our consultant, Cheryl Sullivan, but the real stars were the participants. We had three hours of participation, engagement, ideas, questions and lunch. People shared their views with the facilitator and with each other and the feedback straight after the meeting was how useful and satisfying participants had found the day.
Many ideas were raised at the meeting. Amongst these were the need for better awareness of how to access information on Post Polio, advocacy for aids and other community assistance to help people be as independent as possible, the need to collaborate with other services and group here and interstate, and the need for better education of service providers, particularly GPs and paramedics.
The other important issue that was discussed was the need for people to get involved with PPV in order to do the things we identify as important. A number of people have offered to be involved in working groups on such issues as research, advocacy and communication. We have had offers assist in other ways as well. We also need people to nominate for the Committee at our forthcoming AGM (Saturday November 26).
The next step is that Cheryl Sullivan will present a revised draft Strategic Plan to the Interim Committee meeting in late September. The Plan will then be put to our AGM for adoption.
Thanks to the committee, the wonderful helpers, The City of Darebin and the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit who provided funding, the participants and to Cheryl for contributing to a successful day.