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Secretary's Report

My role has largely been to assist much of the work already mentioned by Larry.  Iíve been doing the Ďhands oní work of co-ordinating meetings ranging from our committee meetings, to those with seminar speakers, fundraisers, researchers and I liaise with government agencies, like the Health Insurance Association, who have enabled us to meet with the managers of the private health insurance companies to discuss contact lens rebates for keratoconus. I also follow up people who offer to volunteer with KA and link them in with relevant activities.  Whatís exciting about this is that it has involved linking up KA members in rural or interstate areas.

I am also concentrating my efforts in streamlining processes within the Association to facilitate the organisation of various activities - like these information seminars and overseeing the statistical analyses of our member questionnaires.

While Matt and I generally do most of the phone support work and Larry concentrates on email support ≠ where clearly the bulk of the support work is carried out ≠ I took over the email and day to day management of KA while Larry was overseas. 

Fundraising.  We have made only a small amount of head way tapping into the many opportunities for KA to access both government and philanthropic funds.  We made a submission to the Volunteer Small Community Grant for a laptop computer for the Association, however, we were unsuccessful.

We are also beginning to focus on applying for substantial grants for some of the projects we hope to be able to conduct soon.  These include:

s       Research into keratoconus

s       Research into other issues associated with keratoconus, for example Medicare: understanding exactly how patients are charged and eye-carers reimbursed for keratconus patients, and also private health insurance, in an effort to reduce the associated costs

s       Computer and software to update our database and membership management

In conclusion, I would encourage everyone to think about project ideas or ways you would like to see KA funds utilised.  Please email us your thoughts. However, I will qualify this request by reinforcing what Larry mentioned earlier:  we need volunteers, we need help to make these good ideas come to fruition.  We cannot do it alone.

Thank you.

Belinda Cerritelli

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