President’s message

In   Issue Volume 18 No. 1 .

Greetings and welcome to the first Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health for 2010. The New Year brings in a few changes in the Executive of AMMA, as the astute among you will realise that the Association’s president for the past seven years, Russ Schedlich, has resigned. It is perhaps appropriate at this point to reflect on his legacy. Russ has seen a growth in our conference which has increased in size and breadth over the nine years of his time as a Council Member. He has been president during our two Joint Health Symposia and has committed us to a third in 2010.
2009 has also seen us combine with Controversies in Civil and Military Trauma, enhancing the conference for both groups. Russ has led Council through a review of AMMA’s corporate governance and enhanced the way we proceed with our day to day management. The major part of this is an updating and review of our constitution which will be addressed through an Extraordinary General Meeting shortly. By far his greatest legacy has been to have the vision to start the process to transform our Journal into a world class peer reviewed publication with an international editorial advisory board. He leaves the journal in a healthy state as is the association. Indeed the Association owes
much to Russ and we wish him the best in the future. Further to Russ’ resignation, this left a vacancy in the
executive which has been kindly filled by Stephanie Hodson, and Andrew Robertson has taken over the
reins of Editor of the Journal.

In late October 2009, another successful AMMA conference was held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. There were over 300 delegates who attended the scientific sessions in a broad range of subjects on trauma, burns, military nursing, operational, mental and allied health. A special thankyou goes to our plenary speakers Dr Fiona Wood and Prof Andre van Zundert and to Michael Groom’s inspirational presentation during the conference
dinner. This year AMMA in conjunction with Joint Health Command will host the Defence Health Symposium in Canberra from the 29-31 October which promises to be an event not to be missed by anyone remotely interested in military medicine. The symposium program is coming together and some innovations in our programming are anticipated with discipline streaming of presentations for all sections of the health community.

Our Journal remains a fundamental function of the Association and the Council is committed to its publication and improvement. We would encourage anyone in the military community to submit an article for publication whether it is a randomised control trial or a case report; from medical officers to medical assistants. The journal is willing to assist, mentor, and encourage first time and junior authors, as it has an extensive editorial and consultative board.

Finally, 2010 finds the Association with a strong and stable membership base which has enabled it to function effectively through the global economic downturn. However, we should be under no illusion that this position is immutable. Continued stability is dependent on continued support of its members and therefore I would encourage all members and potential members to participate in the Association.

Dr Greg Mahoney