Polio Australia held its second Health and Wellness Retreat at the prestigious Melbourne Business School venue in Mt Eliza, Victoria — about 1 hour from central Melbourne. There were 64 participants made up of 43 polio survivors and 21 spouses/carers/family members. People came from all over Australia except the Northern Territory. We also had 27 ‘return’ participants who attended last years’ Retreat in Baulkham Hills, New South Wales: 16 from NSW, 6 from Tasmania and 5 from Victoria, which is testament to how valuable they found the program.
The Polio Body by Dr Stephen de Graaff
The Healthy Mind by Dr Andrew Sinclair
Hard to Swallow? by Abby Foster
Polio Australia would like to thank all the health professionals and presenters for their valuable time and expertise, most of whom provided their services free of charge. Funding from GlaxoSmithKline, The R.E. Ross Trust, The Ian Potter Foundation and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch ensured that this Retreat was affordable for as many people as possible. Polio Australia is also very grateful to two polio participants who donated money to further subsidise the Registration Fees for eight people who would not otherwise have been able to attend. We also thank the Mentone-Mordialloc Lions Club for kindly sponsoring Saturday night’s entertainment.
Below are a few quotes from those who attended this year:
“We enjoyed the retreat so much. Apart from the excellent presenters, the other 50% of enjoyment came from the friendships and conversations with the other participants—something you can only get from a residential event, being with people who have shared experiences and understand the challenges and triumphs. Thank you sincerely—Joan and Graeme” (polio participant and spouse/carer)
“I would like you to know just how much I enjoyed the weekend at Mt Eliza. For most of my life I just got on with it. Now I am finding the information about polio and the way is has affected me in later years very useful for helping me maintain my independence. Yours sincerely—Fran” (polio participant)
“I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience this weekend. I have come away a different person. I met so many amazing people and was privileged to hear parts of their stories. These touched my heart and I came away humbled by the courage, fortitude and positive attitudes that they all had. There was much shared laughter and gratitude for families and supports such as yours. Keep up the great work—Pam” (massage therapist)