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By consaeditor, Dec 20 2015 02:56AM

I wanted to thank all the CoNSA members throughout Australia for the support you have given CONSA Management Committee over this year. Your genuine acknowledgement of the work we have done over the last 12 months is greatly appreciated. I feel very humbled by the kindness directed towards me. I wanted to end the year by wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I have also attached a few images of the CoNSA AGM and Dinner sent to me by Independence Australia and Tena from their photographer on the night.


Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National

By consaeditor, Dec 6 2015 11:03AM

I would like to congratulate Rowan Cockerell, the newly appointed CEO of the Continence Foundation of Australia (CFA). Rowan is a long term member of CoNSA, who I first met over 20 years ago when we were both continence nurses in Melbourne. Rowan was a mentor to me early in my continence nursing career as well as friend. Rowan is a strong supporter of CoNSA and I look forward to working with her in her new role.


Janie Thompson,

President, CoNSA National

Rowan and me at the CFA Conference 2015
Rowan and me at the CFA Conference 2015

By consaeditor, Nov 29 2015 07:16AM

What an amazing day CoNSA members had on 25 November 2015. The CoNSA workshop, which started the review of the draft CoNSA Standards for Practice, had 43 members in attendance with great discussion on many issues related to continence nursing in Australia. Thank you to Professor Jan Paterson, Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz and Elizabeth Watt, CoNSA members, for their hard work at the CoNSA Workshop.


This was followed by the CoNSA AGM which saw the retirement of Leigh Pretty and Mary Harkness from the CoNSA Management Committee and the welcoming of Anita Francis (as SA rep) and Karen Allingham (as WA rep). Plus, the welcoming of Anna Ferrier as CoNSA Secretary taking over from Alyson Sweeney (who is staying on the Management Committee as the Tasmanian rep). Thank you to Leigh, Mary and Alyson who are been wonderful supports to CoNSA.


Finally, the CoNSA Dinner allowed over 100 CoNSA members to have a truly special celebration of continence nursing in Australia. Thank you to Independence Australia and Tena for sponsoring the event in the very beautiful Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria. I was so pleased to have Professor Mary Palmer, Professor of Aging at the University of North Carolina, as my special guest for the night, plus Barry Cahill, CEO CFA, and Rowan Cockerell, Depty CEO, CFA. Joan Ostaszkiewicz was delightful in giving us an update on items relevant to nurses from the recent International Continence Society (ICS) meeting in Montreal, Canada. We were also fortunate to have Gina Panebianco, curator of the gallery, give a presentation on the Great Hall's beautiful ceiling.


Thank you to CoNSA members who made this such a memorial day.

Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National

Liz, Joan, Jan and me at the CoNSA Workshop
Liz, Joan, Jan and me at the CoNSA Workshop
Mary Palmer, Christine Sumper and Lisa Wragg at the CoNSA Dinner
Mary Palmer, Christine Sumper and Lisa Wragg at the CoNSA Dinner
CoNSA Dinner - in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria
CoNSA Dinner - in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria

By consaeditor, Nov 18 2015 10:22AM

When Leigh Pretty approached me to take over as President of CoNSA (National) in 2013, I did not immediately say yes as I had been the Victorian Rep on the CoNSA Management Committee for 12 months prior to this, which gave me a far idea of how big the role was. I was already the President of CoNSA Vic/Tas at the time, so I already had a fair bit on my plate.


I have been a continence nurse for over 20 years and so a member of CoNSA for over 20 years. I have always enjoyed my association with CoNSA, especially at a state level where my fellow continence nurses are a wonderful group of kind and thoughtful people who are always striving to make the lives of their clients better.


So why did I agree to take on the role of President of CoNSA, especially when my husband was not too keen on it. I really believe in what CoNSA stands for. I believe CoNSA is an important link to continence nurses throughout Australia and we are strengthen by this relationship.


I would like to see continence nurses in Australia feel empowered and be better recognised for the amazing work we do. My client group are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They are the frail aged, people with mental health issues, people with intellectual disability, people with spinal cord injuries and those with neurological conditions and chronic health conditions. Continence nurses need to feel supported, acknowledged for the great work we do and know there is an organisation who has our backs. If I can contribute to this is a positive way, then I will try to do so.


Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National

By consaeditor, Nov 8 2015 02:06AM

As CoNSA President, I thought I might give you a little information on myself so you know who I am. I grew up in country Victorian in a dairy farmer. I am the second of five children. Both my parents are Dutch immigrants who met and married in Australia. My Dutch heritage might explain why some people think I am fairly direct in what I say and why I am so tall.


I studied nursing at La Trobe University. Liz Watt (chair of the Professional Issues and Education Sub-committee) was one of my tutors and was brilliant. I started my career at The Alfred hospital before moving onto the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Gerontology and a Certificate in Continence Promotion which lead to a role as an Aged Care and Continence Nurse Consultant with RDNS. I then became the coordinator of the Victorian Continence Resource Centre (part of the CFA Victorian Branch) and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion and a Graduate Certificate in Urology and Continence Nursing. I returned to The Alfred (part of Alfred Health) after having my first child, as the inpatient Continence Nurse Consultant, before moving to Caulfield Hospital (also part of Alfred Health) after having my second child, as it was closer to home. I completed a Certificate in Stomal Therapy Nursing. I now work in and manage the Alfred Health Continence Service, which provides clinic and community based continence consultations.


I am happily married with two teenage daughters. My girls are delightful and I am the typical proud mum who enjoys seeing them evolve into beautiful people in front of me.


I am very close to my brothers and sisters. I started studying Dutch with my younger sister this year and every week we meet our tutor to practise. Nurse in Dutch is ‘verpleegkundige’ and I often wonder how a patient is able to call that out when needing assistance.


I enjoy gardening and cooking. I go to the Parkes Elvis Festival in NSW every year with my sisters, mum and aunties, but that is a whole other story. I never have enough time in the day. I need to finish anything I start. I love lists. I worry about offending people, but I will stand up for something I believe in.


Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National

By consaeditor, Oct 31 2015 10:03PM

Thank you to Mary Harkness, CoNSA Western Australia Rep for the CoNSA Management Committee (MC) who has recently resigned from this position. Mary has been a strong CoNSA WA Rep flying the flag for her state. Her passion for continence nursing and the West has shone through. Mary will be at the CoNSA AGM and I look forward to formally thanking her for her contribution to CoNSA then.


Welcome to Karen Allingham, who has taken on Mary’s role as the CoNSA WA Rep. Karen’s current position is as Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Royal Perth Hospital. Karen is also on the CFA Board. I am very pleased to have Karen join the CoNSA MC and am excited to be able to work with her.


Welcome to Lisa Wragg. Lisa has been on the CoNSA MC as the CoNSA Victorian Rep for the past 12 months. Lisa as agreed to join the Communications Sub-committee. Lisa is the Executive Office with the Victorian Continence Resource Centre, at the CFA Victorian Branch. Please check out her blog on the Victorian Continence Resource Centre website: www.continencevictoria.org.au/ceos-blog/ as she gives an insightful point of view on continence issues and so will be a great asset to the Communications Sub-committee.


Lisa and I spent the day together on Friday at a social media boot camp (see photo). Lisa has such a passion of continence nursing and continence promotion. We learnt a lot from the day and it was wonderful to bounce ideas off each other on how we can promote CoNSA and support continence nursing in Australia, so watch this space.


Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National


By consaeditor, Oct 25 2015 02:17AM

The CoNSA website has recently undergone a few updates. Please take the time to look through the various pages, such as:


On the 'Education/Course Info' page, under the 'Educational Scholarships' section, you will find the information on the Conni Awards. This scholarship to open to CoNSA members until 2nd Nomber 2015 for a member to attend the SUNA Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates Annual Event between 4-7 November 2016 in Washington DC, USA.


On the 'Professional Page', under the 'Upcoming Events' section, you will find information on the annual CoNSA Dinner on 25 November 2015 at the National Galery of Victoria. Remember to RSVP by 6 Novmber 2015.


Shortly, the CoNSA AGM Agenda, Proxy Form and Nomination Form will be going out to CoNSA members. Your attendance at the CoNSA AGM on 25 November 2015 is vital to the forward movement of CoNSA. The CoNSA Management Committee appreciates any support and feedback we receive and the AGM is an ideal setting to receive this information to help guide CoNSA's future direction.


Thank you

Janie Thompson

President, CoNSA National

By consaeditor, Oct 10 2015 11:32PM

You would have all received the invitation to the CoNSA AGM and Dinner. Don't forget to RSVP as this will be a great night of bringing together Australian continence nurses in a formal and then fun environment. I am please to announce that Professor Mary Palmer, from the UNC School of Nursing, will be our special guest at the CoNSA Dinner. I am really looking forward to hearing Mary present at the CFA Conference as I still have fond memories of the last time Mary was in Australia presenting at a CFA Conference and found her very inspiring. Regards, Janie Thompson, President, CoNSA National

By Consa Admin, Sep 11 2015 02:17AM

Welcome to the first post on the CoNSA blog. The CoNSA Management Committee is looking at ways to increase our communication with you. We would like to use the CoNSA blog to be a quicker and more direct way of making contact.


The most significant piece of work we having been doing this year is the review of our Competencies and moving them into Standards for Practice. This will bring them in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. This is a really important document and we are keen for as many CoNSA members as possible to have input into the revision. The next stage of the review will be undertaken at the CoNSA Workshop on Wednesday 25 November 2015 at the CFA National Conference on Incontinence. If you are planning to attend the CFA Conference then please also consider attending the CoNSA Workshop.


Don’t forget the CoNSA AGM on 25 November at the National Gallery of Victoria. This venue is a short walk from Crown Casino. Please get dressed up and ready to dance as the annual CoNSA Dinner follows the AGM. This year there will be a dance floor so everyone can really get into celebrating continence nursing in Australia.


Janie Thompson, President, CoNSA



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