June 20, 2019
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other …
Some of this experience and hope was shared on Thursday afternoon when more than 30 people – community members and health professionals – crowded into the Conference Room at Murgon Hospital to enjoy lunch and hear a public information talk from a visiting AA member.
Brian*, from the Sunshine Coast, is accompanying a group of AA members who are doing a “tag-along” tour of regional areas to support smaller AA groups.
They began their trip in Lightning Ridge and have already visited a string of Queensland towns.
They will be staying overnight in Proston on Friday and Saturday and from there will be heading to Mundubbera.
Brian took the opportunity of the visit to the South Burnett to arrange a public information meeting in Murgon to explain what AA is all about to local health professionals, religious leaders and other community members.
He said his overview was to dispel some myths: “AA is not what you see on TV”.
Brian said alcoholism was an individual problem that affected the whole community.
AA believed alcoholism was a disease. It was not about a bad person becoming good, or a weak person becoming strong.
The self-help group had a program which helped people to live their lives so they no longer needed to drink.
The former National Serviceman said he had started drinking at age 15 and attended his first AA meeting in 1971.
Brian shared some of his story with the guests as well as providing a brief overview of the history of AA in Australia (it began in 1942).
According to the AA website, there are more than 2000 AA meetings held every week in Australia.
In the South Burnett, meetings are held weekly in Proston, Kingaroy and Nanango.
Information was also shared about Al-Anon, a separate support group for the family, friends and other relatives of alcoholics.
An Al-Anon group meets weekly in Nanango.
A public AA meeting with the tag-along visitors will be held in Proston from 6:00pm on Friday in the small building opposite Proston Town Hall.
[* AA members ask to preserve their anonymity in the media]