About Us

/About Us
About Us2018-11-17T22:21:46+10:00

2012

In 2012,  “Mesh Down Under” a facebook support group, started in New Zealand.

2014

In late 2014, Carolyn (Caz) Chisholm founded the Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group (APMSG) on facebook.  Kim Blieschke, (Co-Founder of MIA) was one of the six original members, providing support and continued lobbying whilst connecting with overseas groups for the women affected by transvaginal mesh in Australia.

2016

Kim and Caz went to meet Senator Derryn Hinch in October.

Kim stated “At this time we had approached a number of agencies and Members of Parliament and no one would listen. On 3rd October 2016, Senator Hinch offered an appointment for 10:00 the next morning. Caz and myself flew to Melbourne to take up the opportunity.

Senator Hinch was shocked and saddened to hear the plight of so many women in Australia and promised to help us by giving a speech about Transvaginal Mesh in the Senate.”

2017

Senator Hinch lobbied and was granted a Senate Inquiry into the use of Transvaginal Mesh. The Senate Community Affairs Committee invited submissions over the coming months, which hundreds of mesh injured women provided. Click here to view the submissions.

Once the submission period ended, the Committee held hearings in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Canberra, where many brave women stood and told their harrowing stories. Many tears were shed during these hearings by both the women and the politicians present.

If you wish to view the transcripts from these hearings, click on this link.

At that time, there were limited statistics about the extent of mesh injury in Australia. Health Consumer groups, led by Danny Vadasz from Health Issues Centre (Victoria), were instrumental in conducting surveys to support their submission to the Senate Inquiry.  Click here to view the great work done by HIC.

2018

A group of mesh injured women from various States in Australia started a conversation to form an entity which would be an official organisation/association, to provide strength to lobby for further support.

Click here to download the report

Representatives from each State began working with health services  over many months. As momentum grew, our charter became clear; to put together an organisation which would support all mesh injured for the whole of Australia.

In May 2018, three of these mesh injured mums made formal application to start the process, with the support of Health Consumers NSW Executive Officer, Anthony Brown.

In July 2018, Mesh Injured Australia Incorporated received its incorporation, charity status granted with Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission (ACNC), full tax concessions and deductible gift recipient status (DGR) with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

View registration – ACNC Website

Meet our three founders

Justine Watson
Justine WatsonPresident & Co-Founder
Justine had a TVT fitted in 2010 for SUI. She discovered in 2017 after a cystoscopy that the mesh had skewered her urethra in several places and was embedded in her bladder. With no other explanations for her years of pain and systemic illnesses and after much researching, she travelled alone to the USA for removal surgery a few weeks later. Justine is a mental healthcare worker with more than 20 years experience and is now an advocate for Mesh Injured people and is currently involved in the co-design of a new Pelvic Mesh clinic in Sydney. Justine is also on the Health Consumers NSW Transvaginal Mesh Steering Committee.
Andrea Walter
Andrea WalterPublic Officer, Secretary & Co-Founder
Andrea had a TVT fitted in 2012 for SUI as part of a hysterectomy operation and was told of only a 1% risk (of it not working) involved. Andrea reported immediate post-surgery problems including erosion, pain and inflammation that lead to two trims of her mesh. She was advised by her surgeon during that time that removal was not an option – and her symptoms continued to recur. In 2014 she finally had removal surgery. She has two school age kids and is an active admin of APMSG FB page, Vic PMSG facebook page and an advocate for Mesh Injured since 2012 in Victoria, NSW and Australia wide. Andrea is also on the Health Consumers NSW Transvaginal Mesh Steering Committee.
Kim Blieschke
Kim BlieschkeVice President, Treasurer & Co-Founder
Kim was implanted with the Prolift total system for Proplase – POP in 2006. She woke from surgery in extreme pain and extensive bruising – none of which was explained prior to surgery. She suffered mesh erosion within 3 months into the vagina, had multiple repair surgeries in Australia with no improvement in her pain and multiple further erosions. Through her own research, she found that no surgeon in Australia could guarantee full removal without an outcome that included colostomy and urostomy. She found Dr Veronikis through her research who had expertise, experience and success in similar surgeries. Kim travelled to St Louis, Missouri, USA in 2016 for full removal. Kim has worked as a registered Nurse and Paramedic in South Australia for the last 30 years, she has 3 nearly grown children and a step son. Kim is an active admin for APMSG and SAPMSG FB pages and a consumer advocate for Mesh injured both in her home state SA and Australia wide.