2011 has been an amazing year with the full force and dramatic impact of nature being demonstrated on a grand scale.

Once again the board is writing to all members regarding a natural disaster. This time it is the massive earthquake off the coast of Japan and the subsequent tsunami that has devastated north eastern Japan.

This disaster is a true national tragedy for Japan. It has devastated lives, home, infrastructure, and the impact on the Japanese food production is likely to see an immense need for international assistance. As the full impact of this event is only starting to be realised the likely outcome in terms of lives lost, people displaced, and economic impact will be far greater than many of us will be able to comprehend.

As we have done throughout our history, Australia has extended a helping hand. We have committed to support others in their time of need. With the first USAR team deployed, we once again, have paramedics moving internationally and placing themselves in harms way to support the international community.

The board is mindful that there are many members from across the region who will have family, friends, and colleagues who have been impacted upon by this disaster. We extend to all members our warm wishes and support during this troubling period.

To all paramedics from across Japan and those responding from around the world we extend to you our thoughts and we hope that you remain safe whilst assisting these devastated communities.