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Our Achievements

The Family Centre is the hub for people impacted by type 1 in Western Australia, and we're kicking big goals for the diabetes community. The Family Centre won the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award at the Australian Charity Awards, our diabetes educator Amy Rush was awarded the national Credentialled Diabetes Educator of the Year Award, and our CEO is the only Australian to be selected as one of 100 Fellows of the global Facebook Community Leadership Program.


Under each of our service areas, we have achieved the following:​​​​

Awareness and advocacy
  • In 2017, the Centre was visited by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who discussed the impact of the federal government subsidy for Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) with its CEO and families. The Family Centre supported the advocacy effort for CGM subsidies through the evaluations from our CGM Loan Program, which was supported with a $50,000 grant from St George Bank.

  • In 2016 the Family Centre successfully advocated with the Schools Standards and Curriculum Authority to change exam conditions for secondary school students undertaking ATAR exams, ensuring students with type 1 diabetes are able to access extra time to work on their exams to account for the frequent breaks in concentration required to manage their medical conditions during exams, allowing them to sit their exams on a level playing field with their peers.

  • The Centre also advocated for all tests administered by the Schools Standards and Curriculum Authority, in particular NAPLAN testing, to recognise and meet the needs of students with type 1 diabetes. After advocacy from the Family Centre, the federal NAPLAN administrative body, ACARA, adjusted its testing protocols in 2017 to ensure that the medication, equipment and other needs of students with type 1 diabetes are explicitly captured by the protocols.

  • The Family Centre successfully advocated to change the Australian Diabetes Society’s position and allow people with type 1 diabetes to attain medical clearance to scuba dive in Australia, a sport that people with type 1 have historically been denied access to in Australia. The position changed in December 2016, with the Family Centre CEO as a lead author on the new guidelines.

  • The Family Centre has been represented with speaking invitations, including several keynotes, to the World Diabetes Congresses in Vancouver and Abu Dhabi, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Dietitians Association of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting, the Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting, the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Annual Scientific Meeting in Micronesia, and various other national and state-based conferences.

  • Family Centre staff members have published a number of papers in medical and health journals:

    • Zinn C, Rush A, Johnson R, Assessing the nutrient intake of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet: a hypothetical case study design, British Medical Journal Open 2018.

    • Johnson, R. Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and recreational SCUBA diving. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, 2016: Vol 46 No 3

    • Johnson, R. A Day in the Life of a Diabetic Diver: The DAN/UHMS Protocol on Diving with Diabetes in Action. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, 2016: Vol 46 No 3

    • Johnson R. Type 1 Diabetes and Endurance Sports: A Patient's Perspective, Diabetes Management Journal, 2015.

Peer and psychosocial support
  • The Family Centre established and moderates a dynamic Online Parents Community which has more than 850 members and grows weekly. This forum is for WA-based parents only and operates seven days, 24 hours a day, and provides a safe, carefully-moderated online space for parents to seek support. It currently averages around 500 engagements per day. We also moderate a new community for hundreds of adults with type 1 which grows every week.

  • The Centre runs the only camps for families with children with type 1 and for teenagers with type 1 diabetes Western Australia. The Centre has run 16 camps since 2015, giving campers opportunities to build friendships with others living with the same challenges. Supporters of Family Centre camps include the Mazda Foundation, the NDSS, Diabetes WA and generous donors at the annual Flametree Wines Charity Lunch.

  • The Centre holds more than 20 community and educational events each year. 

  • It hosts regular inspirational events under our Life Without Limits series, and attracts high calibre speakers including Sebastien Sasseville, who summited Everest and ran across Canada with type 1 diabetes, and Roger Hanney, an ultra-endurance runner who ran ultramarathons across five deserts with type 1.

Education and information
  • The Family Centre developed Type 1 Babysitters’ Training, the first program of its kind in Australia. The Centre has trained over 250 babysitters to care for children with diabetes. The Centre now trains schools and daycare Centres in type 1 diabetes management, providing the only schools training in Australia that is tailored to the medical needs of each individual child.

  • We created a unique ‘Solutions Forum’ community education model: face-to-face forums where people with type 1 can crowdsource answers to their practical diabetes dilemmas from other people living with diabetes. Past Solutions Forums have covered sport and exercise, type 1 technology, educating your extended family about type 1, becoming a young adult with type 1, and accessing disability-related entitlements. 

  • The Centre runs regular nutrition workshops for people of all ages, giving them opportunities to meet others with diabetes, teaching them how to make healthy meals and educating them about managing the carbohydrate load of their meals.

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Community-based clinic
  • The Family Centre runs private community-based dietetics, diabetes education and clinical psychology services.

  • The St George Foundation has  the Centre will launch its Health Check Room, offering HbA1c (3 month blood glucose average), cholesterol, and kidney testing.

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