President’s Message

Welcome to the Waikato Ostomy Society Incorporated. Our mission is to provide information, education and support to ostomates (people who have had an ostomy procedure) throughout the Waikato. We communicate with our members via newsletters, bi-monthly support meetings, local coffee groups and social media.

Our patron is Mr Ralph Van Dalen, a highly respected colorectal surgeon, and the society is governed by an elected committee of dedicated people familiar with the trials and triumphs of being an ostomate. I am not an ostomate but my late wife Lyn was. It was in her memory that I decided to stand for President at our March 2023 AGM. Since retiring as a bank manager in 1998, I have spent 25 years in governance roles in voluntary organisations in the health and sport sectors. These roles have been at local, regional and national levels and I am a Life Member of two of those  organisations. I am proud to now be the President of your society.

It is our view that all ostomates need to be fully aware of how to confidently self-manage their stoma and associated appliances. If you are a new ostomate you should by now have received information from us regarding your stoma and what this means for your future health and lifestyle. If you did not receive this information on your discharge from hospital, please contact our Secretary Lorraine Sutherland and she will arrange to email this to you.

I believe that it is better to spend on our nation’s health by taking preventative measures rather than waiting for bad stuff to inevitably happen (a fence at the top of the cliff rather than an ambulance waiting at the bottom). One of the leading causes of colostomies is a diagnosis of bowel cancer and in this regard our society fully supports the government’s bowel screening programme for all people aged 60-74 (50-74 for Maori and Pasifika people in some areas).

In conclusion, I would like to say that your society wants to see the best health and lifestyle outcomes for all ostomates. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can be of assistance to you.

Murray Dear