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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Resouces

Meet the Director - Vicki Wade

Written by 

Vicki Wade

Dear valued reader,

I am excited to be here with you in my new capacity as Director of RHDAustralia. I am honoured to take on this leadership position, which recognises my involvement at a national level in rheumatic heart disease control efforts and more broadly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

This is a critical time for all of us as we move towards a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led, comprehensive approach to eliminate RHD in Australia, based on the recommendations of the RHD Endgame Strategy and aligned with the priority reforms of the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap. I look forward to strengthening our partnership with NACCHO as they lead the development of a new national governance structure and co-designed implementation plan for the rheumatic fever strategy (RFS). RHDAustralia and Menzies School of Health Research have been working closely with the Australian and State and Territory Governments, the RHD Control Programs, our partners in the END RHD alliance, communities and others on this new approach.

I would also like to thank the Heart Foundation and the Snow Foundation for their continuing advocacy and support for the work that RHDA does. I look forward to contributing at a national level on decisions about the long-term plan for RHD elimination and, in these conversations, will continue to be a strong advocate for my people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those living with RHD.
I want to acknowledge Professor Anna Ralph and Professor Alex Brown who have acted as Co-Directors of RHDAustralia for the past 4 years. And to Professor Bart Currie who has always been there for us. Their leadership and contributions have been invaluable, and I am pleased that they will continue their involvement with RHDAustralia. Anna will take on the role of Senior Clinical Advisor, Bart will continue to provide significant clinical and program expertise and Alex will remain as a trusted advisor. 

RHDAustralia has always taken a partnership approach to its work, and I look forward to strengthening these relationships and forging new ones as Director.

Warm wishes,
Vicki Wade