The Network first had a presence on the internet early in 1996 when member Tony Marturano set up a website for us on his home page. The website grew rapidly from this humble beginning and two years later we registered our own domain name. Tony moved the site to its new home and over the next five years the Management Committee and Tony developed and expanded the site into Australia’s premier resource for polio survivors. In 2003 Tony moved on to pursue other interests. He did a magnificent job as our Webmaster over eight years and we are very grateful for the dedication, time and effort he put into it. We also thank member Peter Preneas who assisted Tony in the later years, particularly helping with our first Forum.

Following Tony’s resignation in 2003, Terry Warwar took over as Webmaster, again on a volunteer basis. Due to his work and other commitments, Terry was unable to devote as much time to the website as he wished and so we looked to bring the function back “in house”.

Responsibility for the website was taken over in 2005 by Committee Member Bill McKee. Bill has brought the content up to date and established a program to maintain the site. Bill also communicates the features of the site and reports on what’s new to members through his Cobwebs column in our quarterly Network News.

The decision made by the Management Committee in 2003 to update and upgrade the website led to a long search for suitable software whereby a new website incorporating interactive features for members could be readily designed and maintained. After trialling many packages over the next two years, the search finally ended in late 2005 with the decision to install a combination of Simple Machines Forum and Tiny Portal software. The extensive work then began to not only migrate the existing content to the new site design but vastly increase its depth and scope. The end result is an integrated site with a totally new look and feel.

Our website is very important to the Network. Visiting its informative pages is often a polio survivor’s first contact concerning the late effects of polio. The services that the Network provides through the website such as AskMary and Network News are invaluable resources to polio survivors and health professionals alike. As a direct result of the Network’s internet presence our influence has grown substantially.