Invisible Wounds Seminar Adelaide February 2014



Sandra (Sam) Cross and Jude Firth flew to Adelaide 5th Feb for the Invisible Wounds seminar on 7th of February.

Jan Wallent was the instigator of holding the seminar after hearing about it at the AFOM dinner in October.

When she arrived home Jan immersed herself in finding supporters for funding, speakers and of course a location.

Full marks to Jan as she covered all this on her own and had it all in place before the end of the year.

At the last minute Gail MacDonnel the president of AFOM was unable to attend owing to her health, so Sam stepped in and told her story of what happened in her family from the time of onset of PTSD to the present, along with reading a note from Gail with her best wishes for a successful seminar.

The seminar was held at the Parade Ground close to the centre of the city in a beautiful old building which is now used by several ex-service associations.

Senator Penny Wright who is the Greens representative for Service Families, said it was her pleasure to open and be part of the inaugural seminar. She has a good understanding of the problems that are encountered by the families when PTSD rears its ugly head and changes and challenges faced.

Judith….. a PTSD trained nurse spoke in detail on the treatments available and the ongoing problems faced by the sufferer and the family. Having been working in this field for quite a few years, this was a very informative and inspiring segment.

The MC for the day was a recently retired serviceman who did a wonderful job and was good at breaking any tenseness that had crept in due to the subject.

We were treated to a lovely luncheon that was prepared by two of Jan’s friends which was very nice, this time also was good for everyone to connect and share their stories.

The afternoon speakers were from Carers SA speaking on the role they performed in the assistance needed when things weren’t so good but also give the carer the care they needed to ensure they can carry on.

A Physiotherapist and Exercise was very interesting in telling on how this can be of great assistance in the wellbeing of sufferers, giving information on what benefits are gained.

The ‘question time’ was well used by the participants with very wide range of questions being asked, bringing about some very interesting points. A recently retired former serviceman spoke on how the forces give so much more assistance to personnel prior to their discharge so as they have all their medical documentation which can save months of waiting for them to be obtained from archives enabling treatment and assistance to be obtained.

The seminar was very successful and already there are requests for more in the future.

It is great to see that what we started here in the ‘West’, is spreading but we must not give up the fight to have the last Friday in May recognised Australia wide as Invisible Wounds PTSD Day. Senator Penny right has encouraged us to keep putting it forward until it is recognised.

Sam and Jude wore their Invisible Wounds PTSD shirts all the time we were away and were able to speak to many people on what it is all about and why we were there etc.

Also as an aside Jude had only just reconnected with an old friend from Face Book who lives in Adelaide, so we met up on the Friday afternoon, enjoying a cuppa and much exchange of information, it was a lovely extra we had on the trip and she is our newest member. Welcome Maria! Hope you enjoy being one of us.


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