AMT Chairperson Autumn Message
By Michelle McKerron
I had the privilege of going on a camping trip with my family in January. We packed up our home-away-from-home and headed north of Sydney, as those roads were open and there was the all clear to travel in that direction. It was a hot week, and we swam, chatted in our camp chairs and had the occasional* ice cream.
The day before we were to drive home, we awoke to the sound of sirens on the main road outside the caravan park. Stepping out of our tents, we faced a billowing black sky and the stench of smoke. An uncontrolled grass fire was 500 metres down the road. It was a “watch and act” situation. The caravan park manager told us there would only be one long, loud blast of a horn and then he was leaving if it came to it. Apart from the regulars hosing down their onsite vans, there was an unnatural quiet as people chose to leave.
Within an hour there were three helicopters water bombing the area (legends!) and we were spectators to a humbling and inspiring scene as the fire was tamed.
In hindsight, I find it amazing how many emotions you can feel in the space of one day. I know there are people reading this who have been on that rollercoaster. In fact, theirs was a way bigger, longer and more twisty-turny rollercoaster than my little one. Helplessness, frustration, fear, hope, wonder and the reminder that people matter and ‘stuff’ doesn’t.
Then came the relief of rain. But for some, there were crazy hailstorms and floods, and damage to trees and cars and people losing bits off their houses. And, of course, COVID-19.
For many of us, the start to 2020 wasn’t the positive one we had hoped for and there isn’t the usual ‘welcome to this year’ vibe to this AMT Chairperson message. I know that some of you have been hit hard, I know some of you have been energetically supporting your communities, and I know for some of you, a really important time of rest was lost to situations outside of your control. And I know for some of you, this is ongoing.
Whether in the path of a natural disaster or not, we have all been bombarded by the media with information. And that’s only the acute stuff. This is on top of the pace of our normal life. Have you found it exhausting?
But this is not where the story ends. Let’s not get bogged down if we can help it. There is always some degree of hope. Some way of moving forward.
This past couple of months has led me to consider who I can rely upon. Who in my community can I call on when I have a huge problem, or a little issue? I hope you have a network that have been able to come to your aid if and where necessary.
One thing that can be counted upon is that AMT have your back when it comes to anything ‘massage related’. I have been heartened and encouraged by the information that has become available to us since 2020 started. Information and help for victims of the fires, information about COVID-19, Liz Sharkey’s blog on working through loneliness as a therapist.
Can you feel the love? I sure can! And that’s because there are a great team of human beings in Head Office and representing you on the Board of Directors, all aware and focused on what needs addressing in the here and now.
One example of our commitment to our therapists is the next AMT Mentoring Program due to start shortly. Some of you have the experience, some of you crave direction. I urge you to get involved. If you missed that info, catch up here and sign up as a mentor or mentee here. Applications for the program close on 25 March 2020.
I am very much looking forward, along with the rest of the Board, to meeting up and connecting with members as we hold the AMT AGM and workshop later this month in Brisbane. You can register to attend here.
AMT are your greatest cheer leaders. Please remember to call (02 9211 2441) or email Head Office if you have any questions regarding your membership or what’s happening in the industry. Stay connected and up to date with all aspects of massage therapy so that even when everything seems to be a little crazy, you can rely on the facts. We are looking forward to tackling what lies ahead in the coming months with you, whatever that may be.
I hope that you can label 2020 ‘the year that kept getting better’.
*Thrice daily is considered occasional in our household.
About the Author
Michelle McKerron is currently representing AMT members in the role of Chairperson of the Board of Directors. It’s a role she takes seriously because, as a Massage Therapist herself, she knows what it’s like to be working in the industry and wants to encourage members to continue the tradition that AMT holds in standing up for excellent massage therapy in Australia.