Another year has passed and our Coeliac NZ team have once again stepped up to the continued challenges we face in this (dare I say) post Covid world. The most significant challenge has been working with the reduced funding available to the charity sector. We were however delighted to receive funds from the Lottery Covid Wellbeing Grant that became available. With this generous donation we were able to appoint a Health Promotion Manager, increasing our paid staff to four. In this new role, Lisa Jury is making a significant impact in assisting CNZ with our strategic priorities:
• Advocacy and Awareness
• Effective Service Delivery
• Research Initiatives
I would like to thank our team, Wendy, Dana, Fred & Lisa for their continued resiliance and ability to successfully support our members during the past year under difficult circumstances. With remote working becoming the way of the future, the team have adjusted incredibly well and have adapted superbly to the many changes they have had to face. Coeliac NZ would not be in the great shape it is without their ongoing commitment and I cannot thank them enough. When you see our Performance Report I am sure you will all agree with me.
My thanks also goes out to our Medical Advisory Panel (MAP) who have make a significant contribution year on year, their advice to our team and members has been invaluable and very much appreciated. We said farewell to Dr Simon Chin from our panel, but he has generously agreed to stay on as honourary patron and we are extreamely grateful for his continued dedication to CNZ.
We also welcomed two new MAP members, Dr Jon Bishop who is a paediatric gastroenterologist, and Dr Richard Steele who is an immunologist. Their addition to MAP gives us a well-rounded pool of experts that we can tap into whenever needed and we are extremely fortunate that these professionals freely give of their time on behalf of our members.
A huge thanks also goes out to my fellow Board members, our ambassadors, volunteers, and most importantly our members, without whose contributions we would not be hitting our targets and being recognised as the leading coeliac organisation in NZ. I think we all said goodbye to 2020 with much relief, but I for one underestimated the continued impact that Covid would have on our lives in 2021 and likely beyond. I realise so many of our members are still struggling personally and it means the world to me that in spite of your own problems, you have continued to support us as an organisation.
With our new ‘lifestyle’ of remote working, we are once again holding our AGM via ZOOM. This was hugely popular last year as it gave all of our members the opportunity to attend ‘virtually’ rather than travel to one location. Following the success of last year, we have another guest speaker to chat to after the offical AGM proceedings have concluded, this time a very well respected Executive Chef, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions relating to the hospitality industry. If you havent registered to attend this event yet, I would like to encourage you to do so, as I’m sure it will be another informative session.
Some exciting news for 2021 is that we are planning a conference for November! The theme of this conference will be Living Coeliac Safe – Gluten Free for Life, and it will be held in Auckland. The team are working hard on the agenda and securing our speakers, and thanks to the feedback following the 2019 conference, this year there will be separate sessions for coeliac youth members as well as more Q&A time and additional breakout sessions. We will announce more details as the agenda is confirmed and let you know when tickets will be available. This conference will give you all a chance to meet face to face again so please take the opportunity to attend if at all possible. I very much look forward to being able to catch up with you all again!
Board Chair – Coeliac NZ
AGM 2021 documents