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Education Evening

Wednesday 5 Dec 2018

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History of the
Australian Wound Management Association (South Australia) Inc.

(formerly the South Australian Wound Management Association)

Establishment of the Association
A meeting of 11 interested people in September 1991 was the catalyst for the formation of the South Australian Wound Management Association. The inaugural general meeting of this fledgling wound care group was on 28 October 1991, where officer bearers and committee members of the newly formed South Australian Wound Care Association (SAWCA) were elected. In 1994 a logo was developed to provide the Association with a unique, identifiable symbol.


In 1991 the aims of SAWCA were to: 

The Inaugural Annual General Meeting was held in February 1992 when a draft Constitution was presented and accepted. Incorporation of the association in South Australia followed. In 1994 the Constitution was reviewed and changes were made to align it with the Constitution of the Australian Wound Management Association Inc. At this time it was also felt appropriate for the Association to alter its name to replace the term ‘Care’ with ‘Management’. From 1994 until 2010 the Association was known as the South Australian Wound Management Association Inc. (SAWMA). In 2010 a revised Constitution was adopted that reflected the changes in wound management and Association processes that had occurred since 1994. In 2011 the name of the Association was changed to the Australian Wound Management Association (South Australia) – AWMA(SA). This was part of a nationwide restructure of AWMA and the State and Territory wound management Associations to develop stronger and more obvious connections with the national Association. At this time a new, national logo was introduced to consistently represent AWMA throughout Australia:

AWMA(SA) logo

The objectives adopted in the 2010 Constitution of AWMA(SA) were:
To promote and increase awareness of wound management by:

A committee was established to run the Association and lead its development. Monthly committee meetings of the executive and general committee members guide and build the activities of the association. Over the years many prominent wound management practitioners have held positions on the committee and devoted significant time and energy to supporting and developing wound management in South Australia.

Since its inception, membership of the Association rose rapidly. In 1994 over 250 people were financial members of the Association. In 1995 the first representation of allied health practitioners on the committee occurred. Since then membership has been maintained at between 250-300 financial members per year. The members are predominantly nurses. However, there are also significant numbers of allied health practitioners including podiatrists and pharmacists.

Education Evenings
For many years the Association has held quarterly evening education meetings that are attended by between 60-100 people. Whilst mainly attended by members, some non-members pay a small fee to attend an Evening Education meeting. The topics presented are always relevant and include findings of the latest wound management research, as well as case studies, current trends and specific wound management strategies. The Association has been fortunate to secure the services of many renowned local, national and international speakers for Education Evening presentations.

August 1992 saw the first issue of the newsletter ‘A Stitch in Time’ mailed to members. In July 2007 the newsletter title was changed to ‘Wound Wisdom’. The newsletters remain a regular benefit of membership. The articles are relevant and informative. Highlights of the presentations from the previous educational meeting are also usually included. This provides a valuable service to both country and metropolitan members that keeps them abreast of the latest developments and news in wound management and the Association.

Seminars and Conferences
In 1994 planning commenced for a very successful one day seminar ‘Wound Management- Bridging the Gap’, held at the Adelaide Convention centre in March 1995. Since then the Association has held successful biennial seminars that have been well attended by members and other interested health practitioners. From 7-10 March 2002 the Association held the 4th Australian Wound Management Association National Conference titled: ‘2002 A Wound Odyssey’. Many eminent local, national and international speakers made this an outstanding celebration of 10 years of wound management in this state. On 18-19 May 2007 the Association held a major seminar titled: ‘Bacteria, Bioburden & Beyond’ that focused on management of bacteria and wound infection. Several well-renowned national speakers presented a program that was informative, engaging and stimulated much debate and discussion.

Industry support
The wound management Industry provides valuable support to the Association. From the beginnings of the Association, the Wound Management product companies have provided enthusiastic support of educational meetings and seminars. Industry representatives attend and present a display at each of the Association's Education Evenings. The products displayed provide an opportunity for attendees to see, touch and discuss products with representatives in an informal, collegial environment. The Industry also provides generous financial support and without this it would be difficult to undertake many of the Association’s activities.

To improve the Association’s availability, a paging service was made available in 1995. In December 2007 the pager service was discontinued and a mobile telephone service provided. The number of telephone calls remains steady, with enquiries related to membership, Education Evenings and general business.

In 1998 the Association’s website was developed and this has proven to be a very active site with information, resources, grants and links. The site can be accessed via www.awma.com.au/sa. The Association is proud to be one of the first state wound management Associations to have a website. The website allows members and non-members to keep in touch with the activities of the Association and general wound management issues.

Grants and Scholarships
Since 1997 the Association has offered an annual Research grant to members conducting research in wound management in South Australia. Since then many small grants have been awarded to nurses and all major allied health disciplines. Following the 2002 conference funding for research grants was increased. In August 2008 the Association commenced offering the Janet Vincent Education Scholarship. This scholarship provides an opportunity for Association members to gain financial support for a wound management course, seminar or conference.

Since its initial days in the early 1990s the Australian Wound Management Association (South Australia) Inc. has become a well respected organisation comprised of committed members working together to promote evidence and best practice in wound management. The Association continues to grow and develop and as we move through the 21st century AWMA(SA) will continue to meet the challenges and opportunities of contemporary wound management.

12 March 2014


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