Why and how was ozED formed?
Andrew and Natalie Williams formed ozED. Andrew and Natalie have three children, who are affected by ED. Andrew and Natalie felt the unfortunate common feeling of isolation. That feeling of “we must be the only one’s in Australia.” Along with that came the frustration of having to contact the United States of America, via the Internet to get any useful information. The lack of structure, guidance and support were the catalysts to ozED being formed.
ozED has been set up as an incorporated association in Victoria. This gives the group certain rights and recognition as well as responsibilities. Over the years ozED has grown into a truly national support group and assist in ensuring that people and families affected live with ED not restricted by ED.
ozED is a political group, meaning we do not and will not attempt to pay dues or be financial to any political party. This however will not prevent us from being politically active. There will be times that we will need to utilise government and need to attempt to influence government.
Who can join ozED?
We welcome any one who wishes to join. We understand that ED does not only have an impact on the immediate family, but impacts grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and colleagues (associate membership available – membership forms.). We encourage you to involve any of your support networks. This includes any professional person from your local doctor, paediatrician, and allied health to school, school teachers/aides and sporting clubs etc… Through their membership we can identify areas of education need and ensure that ED is a part of life, not a restriction on life.
What do I get for my membership?
ozED will be producing an E-newsletter, second monthly meetings, a National Camphrence (more than a family camp, more than a conference) and hosting family days. ozED will also be liaising with other organisations around the world to keep you up-to-date on any research and interesting developments in the world of ED. ozED will also be developing professional awareness packages for the range of people that you and your family will need to deal with. But most importantly, and our highest priority, you will be able to talk to other people and/or families that have been through what you are facing and are able to let you know the answers that the books and information just cannot.
Who will do the support?
The most qualified people to support people and families affected by ED are people and families affected by ED. It is an uncommon disorder that gives us a common bond. As people contact ozED to become members, they will be put in contact with someone who has similar circumstances and in a close (as possible) locality. This means that as we grow, networks and community groups will develop. I envisage that these groups/networks will begin there own informal meetings/outings etc… this is where ozED may be able to assist in providing the venue/insurance etc to help this develop and grow.
What about isolated or remote people?
In today’s information technological community, distance can only be as far as your computer or telephone. ozED currently use Facebook and Twitter. We hold our meetings via conference calls. This will enable everyone from Perth to Cairns, Darwin to Hobart to be able to participate. It may also mean that other guest speakers from around the country/world can also present to our group.
Where does ozED get their money?
At the moment the only money that ozED has is what it will derive through membership. We certainly will be chasing sponsorship at corporate level and will accept any donations. We are registered with the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient. So the more members we can get the better off the organisation will be.