We have recently said goodbye to one of our long-serving members of the Board, Mark Smith. Mark has serviced since 2017, giving time as Vice-Chair for several years, and being a huge help in our IT and data systems. We will miss Mark and wish him and his family the very best for 2023. Mark tells his story below.
Mark tells us, 'Like many of our membership I’d received help and support over the years from the Society. I’d gotten to know a couple of the staff and enjoyed catching up each year at the conferences. When a call came out for new volunteer Directors, I quickly dismissed it. I was very interested but didn’t see much value in what I could contribute. I suspected my imposters syndrome was clouding my judgement, so I spoke to the team about what skills they needed. I was pleasantly surprised by the interaction.
As it turned out, my working background provided much experience that could benefit the board. I joined the Board in 2017 and quickly realised that my day job (IT) was very useful. I also realised that my broader experience at home as a husband of a carrier and a parent of a child with the full mutation was very useful in advocating for services and provided a lived experience during decision making.
Joining the board has been a very rewarding experience. I have enjoyed getting to know the other Directors, supporting the staff and helping prepare the Society for the future. Our home has changed significantly recently with my wife becoming a fulltime student Paramedic (Congrats Kathryn!) and my latest job taking up more time. So with a hint of sadness, but some pride in what we have achieved, I stepped down from the board at the end of 2022.
For anyone reading this that has some interest in volunteering; I would encourage you to contact the board. The main quality required is time and energy. Both of which are hard to find in a Fragile X household but if you have either, then I’m sure the Society would be keen to have your support.
For now, I look forward to seeing what the Society becomes over the next few years. I’ll be rooting for the Board and the staff as I return to my previous role of grateful member. See you all at the conferences!'
Thank you for all you've done for us, Mark. We wish you all the best in your next chapter!