Fred and Christine
Fred and Christine have been on the Parkinson’s journey together since Fred’s diagnosis in 2003.
While the diagnosis changed their retirement travel plans, Fred actively sought out his local Parkinson’s Peer Support Group. He soon became President of the Essendon Support Group and has grown its membership from 6 to 40 members.
“Parkinson’s is a mate you always have and it lets you know it’s there, but I don’t allow it to take over.”
Fred joined the Essendon Parkinson’s Support Group early in 2003 and by the end of the year he had been asked to take over the leadership. Under his direction the group quickly grew to be one of the biggest in Victoria with a membership of over 70 people.
He achieved many great things for the group during his time as President, including obtaining many grants for the group to start new projects. The Painting with Parkinson’s Group was started five years ago and is still running today. Fred also facilitated a grant to provide a subsidised Taxi Service for those who could no longer drive themselves to our meetings. Over the years under Fred’s leadership the group hosted 2or 3 seminars for health professionals and people with Parkinson’s, drawing on his immense knowledge and extensive network to attract many interesting speakers. .
A valued leader and contributor
Fred served on the Parkinson’s Victoria Board from 2004 to 2013, where he served the maximum 3x3 terms. During this time, Fred shared responsibility for making Parkinson’s Victoria the viable and sustainable organization it is today. At times he stepped in to fill a gap in the CEO position, as well as supporting the presidency role for many months in 2013.
In Fred’s time on the Board the organisation’s work has grown significantly. He was a member of the Governance & Research Committee (2014-16) and is a current member of the Research Committee. He was awarded the Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 2014.
Maintaining quality of life
Fred’s mantra to enjoy our life and not to let Parkinson’s get the better of us underpins his contribution to our community. He has helped many of us improve our quality of life. Last year he helped start an exercise group for people living with Parkinson’s with a trained Physiologist.
This group still operates but now includes others from the community who will benefit as we do. Each year Fred participates in the annual A Walk in the Park, and encourages people to join him. We know that Fred would not have achieved as much as he has without the support of his lovely wife Christine. Christine is always there behind the scenes, making sure things run smoothly smoothly and taking good care of our needs.
Despite recently announcing his retirement from leadership duties at Essendon, Fred continues to be an active ambassador for Parkinson’s Victoria, responding to every opportunity to raise awareness of the condition, improve the understanding in the community and to solicit support.