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Despedida and muchas gracias Barry! (Farewell and thankyou)

29 November, 2015

I thought in the spirit of having two children in South America at the moment I would get my Spanish dictionary out and give my blog an international flavor. I’m on the plane flying home from the 24th Continence Foundation of Australia National Conference with my new conference buddy, Jane Cannan, who is one of my new physio colleagues at 47 Hampstead Rd, Highgate Hill and I felt compelled to write some words about a wonderful man who has contributed enormously to the CFA. For the past 13 years, one of the highlights from each conference was having a big hug from Barry Cahill, the CEO of CFA, the minute I walked in. Barry has been a cheerful, caring yet incredibly efficient leader of CFA for thirteen years now and it was with great shock and surprise for me when Barry announced at our AGM that he was stepping down from the top job.

Barry came into the job when CFA as an organization was really struggling. He has been instrumental in getting the CFA into the respected position in continence education world-wide that it holds; in getting the CFA into a sound financial position and mostly for being the Dad in our great big continence community. (No Michael Murray you are not necessarily Dad).

But the good news is he is still going to be around and will be responsible for conference organization  and tackle some special projects for the CFA. Rowan Cockerell, the current CFA Vice CEO will be stepping into the top job.

standing ovation for Barry

Standing ovation for Barry Cahill

This year was again an opportunity to meet with my ‘continence family’. Seeing familiar faces and catching up with other Women’s Health Physios, Urogynaecologists  and Continence Nurses from around Australia and even New Zealand, who you may not see until the conference each year, is always refreshing and even somewhat comforting. The beautiful thing about CFA as an organization is that over the years there has always been tremendous harmony and friendliness. And part of that comfortable feeling comes from the people who run the organization, the volunteers who fill the Committee positions around the different states and even the Conference organizers. I first became involved with Shan Fleming, (who has very ably arranged the conference for a long time) many years ago when we asked her to organize an event for us in Queensland. Her son, Ty has now taken a prominent role in the company and this contributes to the family feel of CFA.

ty with beau

Ty Fleming with the youngest delegate at the conference

But what about the 24th conference content? I have to say that after 24 years of attending conferences, you keep wondering when they are going to become repetitive or boring- but they just never do. And a big thank you to the Scientific Committee for arranging such a diverse and interesting programme for 2015. If you ever wonder about the quality of CFA Conferences then don’t. Just get your leave arranged, your patient calendars booked out and your special conference money box ready for 11th November,2016 in Adelaide because I imagine as the 25th Conference, it’s going to be a ripper. I am secretly (or not so secretly) hoping, as the great BIM Group (Body in Mind- Dave Butler and Lorimer Moseley) are based in Adelaide, there is going to be lots of pain stuff- as we can never do enough pain education.

So my next goal is to write another blog with some pearls of wisdom from this last conference. Because that is what you come away from a conference with – pearls of wisdom from lots of pretty smart people from within Australia and around the world working within the area of Continence.

One of the great lectures was by Mary Palmer and this slide on Wisdom I found to be very insightful- there was much in Mary’s lecture which was wonderful!

 

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