Judith Perryn - A QENDO Legend
By Judith Perryn OAM
In 2018 QENDO celebrated its 30th birthday. 30 years of supporting women and their families with endometriosis. The founding members of our organisation paved the way for us to grow into the organisation we are today, proudly providing support through our internationally accessible support line, EndoMeets in sixteen locations across Queensland - including regional and rural areas, and our Endo Sister program that pairs support workers with endometriosis sufferers to support them one on one throughout their journey. That's today, but it all started with a group of amazing women who devoted their lives to making life better for those with endometriosis in a time where the disease had little name recognition and even less understanding, particularly from the medical profession. These women were pioneers, working in a time without the recognition of social media, the convenience of computers in every home, and without many names to suggest to women who needed help. They helped grow that list, grow recognition and awareness, and inspire the next generation of women to fight for better treatment.
One of these women was Judith Perryn, who has served in many different positions over the years including President, Treasurer and Support Coordinator, among others. After thirty years she continues to serve QENDO, advising, supporting and working events. She provides support that so many of us need, taking care of those of us who need her - coming with us to appointments, sharing QENDO's history, and cheering us on as we take QENDO into the future. We thank her for the contributions that have made QENDO and the endo community great.
Below, Jude reflects on one of her greatest honours - receiving her OAM for her years of service to QENDO. We thank you Jude, here's to another 30 years of QENDO!
Receiving an OAM
In April 2001 I received a letter telling me that I was being considered for award of the Medal of the Order of Australia (AOM) in the General Division. The announcement would be made in the Queen’s Birthday 2001 Honours List on Monday 11 June 2001. Would I be prepared to accept the award??
WHAT!!! WHY??? What had I, a 5th generation Queenslander working then as a Finance Assistant done to have been nominated for this prestigious award?
The newspaper announcements on the day said… “for service to the development of public health and awareness and education, particularly through the Endometriosis Association”.
From the moment that I read the article in the Brisbane Courier Mail on Friday 26th August 1988 inviting anyone interested in forming an endometriosis support group in Brisbane to a meeting on Monday 29th August I knew that I wanted to be part of that group.
I became the inaugural vice-president mainly as I was the only one with committee experience through being the treasurer of my children’s school’s P & C and secretary of the local Scout Group. I also had experience as the Pre-School Teacher Aide, Tuckshop Convenor and even a volunteer Lollipop Lady as our school had been chosen for the trial.
As I read through my nomination form and the letters from the five referees including Professor Carl Wood, often called the father of IVF in Australia, I wondered who they were writing about. I felt so proud and at the same time a sense of humility that I had been singled out for doing something that I enjoyed. Something needed to be done and I was doing it. That is what a volunteer does and we do not expect to be rewarded for it.
At the QENDO gathering after the announcement so many people there had played a part in my receiving the OAM. I could never give back to the Association what it had given to me. I am honoured to have been an inaugural member of QENDO and to still be active with the group over 30 years later.
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