It has now been a month since I took up the role of Chief Executive Officer at Hepatitis NSW, and what a month it has been! These last four weeks have been a whirlwind of briefings, meetings, introductions, and vast amounts of learning. Hepatitis NSW staff, and the many community and sector members I have met to date have warmly welcomed me, which I greatly appreciate.
While it was always going to be a challenge, to step in to lead a community organisation as highly effective and successful as Hepatitis NSW, I am determined to carry on the great legacy that has been created by the original founders, staff, and community. I am confident, given the passion, drive and commitment of the Hepatitis NSW Board and staff, we will continue to be successful.
I will be drawing on my many years of knowledge and experience of government, bureaucracy, and not-for-profit member sectors to advocate for programs and resources that will achieve the elimination of both hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Great progress has already been made in the testing, treatment, and cure of hepatitis C since 2016. However, as we all know, if the goal of elimination is to be achieved, there is still much work to be done to reach, and engage with, the so-called “missing majority” who are living with undiagnosed hepatitis C.
There is also an increasingly urgent need to more vocally advocate for enhanced and sustained action to reduce viral hepatitis infections in NSW, and to improve the health outcomes of people living with hepatitis B in NSW.
Finally, I would like to add my voice to the many others thanking my predecessor – Stuart Loveday – for his sustained effort and great achievements as leader of Hepatitis NSW over more than 20 years. I have had benefit from his knowledge, wit, and wisdom over the last month. I am truly grateful and, along with everyone else, wish him a great retirement.