History of Lipoedema Australia Ltd.
Commencing in January, 2012 Lipoedema Australia Support Society (LASS) was founded by Coral Freeman and Jennie Reen. Though both of these founding members left within 12 months of the inception of LASS, it was their brainchild.
LASS became an incorporated association in June 2012, with the first Lipoedema Awareness Month being celebrated during that June. The members at that time comprised of President: Nola Young, Treasurer: Louise Mansfield, Secretary: Clarissa Newman, Public Officer: Coral Freeman, with Jennie Reen being a general member.
LASS was the first English speaking Lipoedema support group and as such was the springboard for many other support groups, such as Lipoedema Ladies (UK), Talk Lipoedema (UK), Lipedema Sisters (USA) and a Canadian Lipoedema group.
From the beginning LASS has had a wider role than some other Facebook support groups, in that the role has always been seen from the perspective of offering advocacy, education and support to people with Lipoedema and their families, as well as the 24/7 support of a closed Facebook page for sufferers.
In March 2014, Lipoedema Australia Support Society Inc. held their first national conference in Sydney. It was a sell out; with people attending from every state in Australia and also from New Zealand. It was hailed as a great success and has set the bar high for the following conferences.
In June 2016, the second national conference took place in Melbourne, featuring international speakers Dr Karen Herbst from USA and Dr Josef Stutz from Germany, as well as Mr Ramin Shayan, Director of the O’Brien Research Institute and renowned reconstructive plastic surgeon from Melbourne. The conference proved to be a fabulous event, creating interest from a philanthropic funding trust to invest in research into Lipoedema with the O’Brien Research Institute. The LASS team then assisted with this research in sourcing suitable candidates for involvement in the research.
The growth of LASS has meant that being a NSW incorporated body became outgrown, so in March 2017 the group officially made the transition to Lipoedema Australia Ltd. embracing its role as an Australia-wide entity.