The last six months have proven to me that life has few certainties. I have been back and forth across the Tasman like a yoyo swinging from low points to high. For the last 12 months, as fast as plans have been made, they have been unmade by forces outside of my control. This has applied to my personal as well as to my working life. We all see this in our day to day work where the goals met depend more on the acuity of the patients who happen to be on the wards, or at outpatients, than they do on our time management. Staff sickness and accidents can't be scheduled and these too play havoc with our planning. One is forced to wonder why one plans at all!
One of the few certainties in my working life has been ANZSRS. No matter what is happening around me I know I have many others who are at the end of a phone line and always ready to provide advice and guidance to me. They are usually just as ready to simply chat! This feeling of being part of a big team with everyone pulling in the same direction provides a sense of value, a sense of belonging that provides a context to my working life.
I was very sorry to have missed the opportunity to talk with you at Perth and get to meet the many people I have been sharing e-mails with but have not actually met. There will be another opportunity soon I hope.
I was deeply moved by the news that I had been made a life-member of the Society. Words cannot describe the emotion I felt when Graham phoned me with the news. It is an honour I will treasure forever. I have also been moved by the number of members who have sent me messages of congratulations on the award and sympathy for the loss of my mother. These expressions of support have a power well beyond the simple words. Thank you all.
The Society is, more than likely, something different to each of us. To me it is like a family. Over the 17 or so years I have been a member, I have developed friendships, have learned how to do a great many things, have learned how not to do a few things, have learned the value of sharing ideas and experience and have learned that I am never alone when problems strike and apparently insurmountable obstacles materialise. I have learned that dumb questions are great learning tools! I have also learned that a fix is often at the end of the phone - for my state of mind if not for the problem!
I value my membership in ANZSRS very highly indeed. We should all cherish the fact that we belong to such a great organisation and put effort into nurturing the relationships we have with other members. Just as families require effort on a daily basis, so our membership requires effort as well. With continued nurturingof these relationships, however, ANZSRS will continue to stand proud and provide one of the few certainties in our working lives.