Our volunteers are an integral part of our work at Asthma Australia. This National Volunteer Week, we thank you.
At Asthma Australia we are fortunate to gain the experience and insights of our volunteer Professional Advisory Council (PAC), Research Advisory Committee (RAC), and our Consumer Advisory Council (CAC).
Our PAC and RAC are experts in their field. They advise us on medical, technical, research, and other professional areas. This contributes to the way we prioritise our work and help guide our advocacy and policy.
Our CAC are also experts, on the lived experience of asthma. They either live with asthma or care for someone with asthma.
City of Ballarat Citizen of the Year 2021 Dr. Sundram Sivamalai has served on our CAC for a year.
He says the role is rewarding because of the ongoing focus on health for consumers.
“The interests of consumers and carers are the centrality of the organisation, that value greatly,” he says.
“Asthma Australia continuously explores ways to resource and to engage with all communities. [It] aims to form culturally appropriate partnerships with communities to have their input in planning, implementing and evaluating their programs, policies, and services.”
We would also like to thank our Asthma Champions for their ongoing support.
These people from all backgrounds work with us to raise awareness of asthma and its impact. They do this through a range of activities including sharing their stories publicly, providing feedback on research and advocacy efforts.
Asthma Champions Manager Victoria Watson says the work of the Asthma Champions is important to ongoing public awareness of asthma.
“We have champions of varying backgrounds and ages with our youngest members still in primary school,” she says. “They help us every day.
“Their efforts range all the way from completing surveys to being the lead story in a fundraising appeal or media campaign.”
There are more than 160 Asthma Champions and this year alone, more than 20 Asthma Champions have worked directly with Asthma Australia, volunteering both their time and lived experience.
“We are so grateful to our Asthma Champions,” she says. “It is wonderful to see this program continue to grow and evolve – and to have the pleasure of getting to know the amazing people at the heart of what we do.”
Since volunteers started our organisation in 1962, they have been integral to our development as a national peak body, we have ensured the experience and knowledge of people with asthma and their families is front and centre.
The knowledge and expertise of our volunteers play a pivotal role in advising, informing, and guiding our objectives, roles, and responsibilities.
Before we run health campaigns to assist people with asthma, for example, we consult our volunteers as part of our decision-making processes.
Learn more about our Asthma Champions here.