It is difficult to know where to begin as we conclude such an extraordinary year. Indeed, 2020 has been a year like no other – bushfires, floods, and the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably has been the extreme fear felt by our vulnerable members due to age and ill health in the face of the virus; the social isolation of social distancing, quarantining and border closures; and the heightened anxiety of what the future holds (regardless of a vaccine becoming available). Many of our members have lamented the changes thrust upon them and share a concern as to what the new “normal” of the future will be.

It is in times like these that we recognise the importance of one of AMAA’s core pillars – community. The AMAA membership remains tight knit and united in our solidarity despite not being able to host our monthly forums or morning teas, or even open our Outreach Centre, due to the social distancing restrictions. It is in these trying times that we have banded together to offer each other hope, comfort and friendship. The resilience of our membership has always been strong over the years and we are proud that you have each stood together this last year. We are confident that the AMAA community will continue to grow in strength and number into the new year.

We are also pleased to report that the easing of the COVID restrictions in both NSW and QLD allowed for some of our social gatherings to be held. Most notably was the High Tea Member Reunion, the AMAA Annual Memorial Service and our end of year Christmas Luncheon. For many of our members it was the first time seeing each other in person for nearly twelve months! While the AMAA Board and volunteers did a valiant effort to keep things going remotely and virtually, it must be said that it was heartwarming to again be standing together (albeit further apart – 1.5m to be precise!!)

A special end of year shout out to our amazing team of dedicated volunteers – you each contribute more than we can ever list and we value everything you do. Particular mention to Amanda Jones for her bookkeeping prowess which ensures our organisation is able to prioritise our members and spend our money wisely and frugally. We also express enormous gratitude to Gerard and the team at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club who graciously and generously waived our rent payments while we have been unable to utilise our Outreach Centre. This act of kindness has enabled AMAA to continue to focus our energy and resources on the needs of our membership during this tough year. Many thanks THBC for your ongoing support – we are truly blessed.

Our sincere thanks to each of you for your tireless dedication and support of AMAA. We are indebted to each and every member for lending their voice to the cause in fighting for better treatment options, access and support for our more vulnerable members. We are grateful for your kindness and generosity to us as an organisation , but more importantly your care of each other. And finally, we look forward to embarking on the journey into 2021 with you all – hopefully the new year heralds a re-emergence from this troubled year into brighter times. Just as our bereaved member support gathering says, from the cocoon emerges the butterfly. Let us pray that the hibernation of the past year will leave each of us renewed and ready for the times ahead.

Yours in solidarity. Wishing you a safe and joyous festive season.

From the AMAA Board of Directors
Ken, Kimberley, Nyrie, Peter, Terri and Tilly

AMAA Community Outreach Centre
Ground Floor, Tweed Heads Bowls Club,
cnr Wharf & Florence Sts, Tweed Heads NSW 2485
Phone: 1800 017 758

Reflections 2020 - AMAA