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President’s Report

Last year I reported that the MAREAA Executive had been working hard to continue to advocate for Marriage and Relationship Education in Australia.  This has become increasingly challenging as early intervention and prevention was certainly not on the Federal Government agenda. We had had several unsuccessful attempts to gain some funding for a National Conference in the previous 2 years.

In the 2016 Presidents Report I said “watch this space!” and yes, we were successful in receiving funding!

DSS Minister, Christian Porter agreed to fund MAREAA this year $20,000 to help seed MARENC 2017. We are very grateful to Minister Porter for this.

I would also like to thank FRSA Board, Jackie Brady FRSA Executive Officer and Amanda Carter, Administration Supervisor.  We have really appreciated the collaboration, the generous support, encouragement and good will provided to MAREAA and the National Executive.

The National Executive goals needed to be put aside during 2017. However, the overall goals: Building Membership, Supporting Members, Raising the Profile of MRE are all intrinsic to the goal of conducting a National Conference.

We have achieved this goal with a lot of energy, positivity, hard work and a few little dramas along the way. A badly functioning (new) website in the year of the National Conference has been one of those ‘dramas’. We have had 12 months of negotiation with some limited degree of success. I am very grateful to Michael O’Keeffe, Web manager and Treasurer and Shane Smith, Vice President, for their continual efforts to resolve this serious problem.

I thank all MAREAA members and possible members for your patience and support over this time.

We hope to move into 2018 with a fully functioning, easy to manage website for all members who can easily advertise their services. We also want couples and individuals to be able to find a service near them. Hopefully this is not too far away.

It is with great delight that MAREAA has again had the opportunity to present the Award for Excellence. It is not often that those working in prevention and early intervention programs gain some recognition for the work that they do. I congratulate this year’s recipient.

This will be my last report as President and while I will still be on the Executive, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Executive for their continued, on-going and generous support plus the friendship and fun we had at our “Zoom” meetings.  We have all had a big and at times, stressful year but I am confident 2018 will be the year of consolidation and growth.

I would particularly like to thank Rebecca Lowe, secretary, who I would not be able to do without, Shane Smith and Michael O’Keeffe for their patience with my many texts, emails and phone calls.

I also encourage all those working in the early intervention and prevention space to continue doing what you do so well and to use MAREAA for advocacy, support, promotion and networking.

MAREAA looks forward with optimism and enthusiasm to new adventures and challenges in 2018.

Denise Lacey

MAREAA National President