Cardiomyopathy Australia is a registered, voluntary, charitable organisation supporting people with all forms of cardiomyopathy, and their families.
The Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia Ltd was founded by Robyn Bell as the "Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia Inc".
Robyn's husband Ray and daughter Leigh were diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, other members of Ray's extended family were also diagnosed. Frustrated by a lack of information on the condition, Robyn joined other members of her family to form a group with the aim of offering support and providing information to people with HCM, their families and health professionals. More and more members joined from interstate and it was decided to have a principal contact in each state.
The Association originally targeted people with HCM, but through enquiries from people with other forms of Cardiomyopathy, the Association decided to broaden its membership to encompass all forms of the condition. Its name was officially changed to "Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia Incorporated" (CMAA Inc) in June 1995.
In 1999 Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia Limited [CMAA Ltd] was registered, embracing a truly national framework. The management committee (National Executive Committee) comprising up to 9 directors is elected at the Annual General Meeting with half members retiring but eligible for re-nomination. The business name Cardiomyopathy Australia was registered in 2013 as an easier name with which the community can identify.
The membership base includes people with Cardiomyopathy and their families and friends, GPs, cardiologists, cardiac nurses, psychologists and other health professionals. Group memberships are currently held by Cardiac Units in Hospitals and Cardiac Rehabilitation Programmes. Our constitution provides for complimentary members where professionals who encourage membership and make a significant contribution to the diagnosis, treatment and research of cardiomyopathy are recognised. Medical equipment suppliers have also been welcomed as members. Membership keeps them abreast of developments in the field and at the same time supports our services.
Medical Advisers, representing all states of Australia and New Zealand lend their expertise to CMAA by being involved on an honorary basis. This professional support from cardiologist and other health professionals is invaluable and most encouraging.
Our organisation is managed by an unpaid volunteer committee elected from the membership base and supported by contact persons for each state/territory and New Zealand. A team of medical advisors is available to screen written material for the Association and provide other support as required.
New Zealand members are encouraged to join CMAA until such time as a sustainable organisation can be established there.
Since 2006 Cardiomyopathy Australia has proudly conducted biennial seminars that have contributed to the awareness of Cardiomyopathy and have advanced the knowledge of the disease. Members and a wider audience including health professionals have been appraised of developments in diagnosis and treatment by speakers who are pre-eminent in their disciplines. Sponsorships are sought for future events and will be appropriately acknowledged. No charge is made for attendance and speakers kindly make their presentations on a pro-bono basis.
Seminars held were:
- Sydney 2006 - Cardiomyopathies in the 21st Century - Looking into the Crystal Ball
- Melbourne 2008 - Living with Cardiomyopathy
- Sydney 2010 - Cardiomyopathy "What's working?"
- Brisbane 2012 - Cardiomyopathy "A Moving Picture"
- Melbourne 2014 - Cardiomyopathy " Keeping you on track"