It is with heavy heart that we come to the end of our 40th anniversary year with the loss of our founder, Dr Kevin W. Walsh, who passed away on Monday 4 December, 2017 aged 92 years. Kevin was an inspiration to us all and a friend and mentor to so many. I have heard Kevin frequently described with numerous superlatives capturing his amazing expertise across the full range of clinical, teaching and research practice in neuropsychology. Expertise however was not his only claim to fame, he was a warm, compassionate, wise and insightful man, a leader with a unique knack of challenging old ideas and planting the seeds for many new ones. Kevin will be missed far and wide by all who had the privilege of crossing paths with him. Thank you so much Kevin for getting us started and for keeping us going over so many years.
As the year closes and I reflect on the impressive quantum of activity that captures the ASSBI commitment to working together to improve the lives of people with brain impairment, there is much to be proud of. We have a strong membership with well over 400 members across multiple disciplines in all states. We continue to grow our commitment to the region and also more broadly with an eye to international collaboration. From a regional perspective, it is exciting to be planning our 2019 conference in Wellington, New Zealand with an aim to collaborate with the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association (NZRA). Internationally, we have continued our productive dialogue with the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) with a view to both organisations collaborating by sharing information, providing expertise, giving mutual support, and developing joint action in areas of common interest.
The success of our society rests with numerous people and special 2017 thanks are in order to many. These include the amazing committee members; you can see them one and all https://assbi.com.au/Committees including Margaret our CEO who I can say confidently is without rival anywhere, our corporate partners Shine Lawyers who continue to give us such valuable support, the 2017 conference committee with Dana Wong at the helm who delivered our fabulous 40th anniversary event in Melbourne – the largest ever stand-alone ASSBI conference with 445 delegates (You can refresh any waning memories and bring an ASSBI smile to your face by a visit to https://assbi.com.au/resources/Documents/2017%20Conference%20Report.pdf.); the 2018 conference committee members so ably led by Liz Williams who have created a marvellous program to entice you all to Adelaide https://assbi.com.au/ASSBI-Conferences and all the contributors to our rich and varied workshop and webinar program for 2017.
I would like to close my thanks with a particular special mention to Mike Hennessy who not only has tirelessly and expertly supported our web presence over many years but who also on his retirement has overseen the transition to the new site. Mike your contribution to ASSBI has been immeasurable and your quiet, supportive, reliable presence will be sorely missed – thank you
Warmest wishes for the holiday season and a new year full of pleasant surprises,
Jacinta Douglas, President