Family Centre history
From 2012 to today, we've had an epic journey as we continue to grow.
We started our journey towards becoming an Australia-first organisation for people with type 1 diabetes.
15 January 2014
From a plot of bare land, the Family Centre was
built literally from the ground up with a vision.
We held intensive
focus groups with
type 1 families and adolescents to inform the Family Centre’s programs and service design.
Construction of the Family Centre commenced thanks to
the generous support of the WA State Government,
Telethon, Lotterywest and BGC.
The Blue Balloon, the Family Centre’s original newsletter, launches.
We launched our first online community,
the Type 1 Family Centre Parents’ Community. This group is now one of several online communities, with around 1,000 members and 6,000 engagements every month. It was even recognised by Facebook as one of the top 100 online communities in the world!
The Family Centre’s first team members come onboard to build and deliver our nutrition, community event and family support programs and services.
The Family Centre’s first event, with type 1 diabetic family therapist and diabetes nurse educator
from the US!
Our first nutrition event:
Dr Troy Stapleton, type 1 diabetic medical doctor, speaks to the Family Centre community about how he manages his type 1 with
a low-carbohydrate diet.
The Family Centre is
officially opened by
The Hon Dr Kim Hames.
Our unique ‘Solutions Forum’ education model,
which features live, interactive panel discussions to find practical solutions to diabetes dilemmas,
Our first camps! Teen Camp and Family Camp – the first of 18 camps that have supported hundreds of families and adolescents impacted by diabetes!
Thanks to the St George Foundation,
we launch our Continuous Glucose Monitor Loan Program, which loaned CGM systems, which were then not subsidised, to families in need.
Family Centre CEO Bec Johnson
has an opinion piece published in
The West Australian calling for CGMs
to be subsidised.
In 2016, we launched and built our unique education and community event program, including Kids in the Kitchen, Teen Cooking, Diabetic Athletic, technology shows, the Life Without Limits speaker series, and our school holiday programs.
Our first paper was published in Diabetes Management Journal: ‘Diabetes and Endurance Sports: A Patient’s Perspective’ written by our CEO Bec Johnson.
We launch our Carbohydrate Counting Program – a highly successful face-to-face education workshop that we later transformed into Australia’s first online carb-counting program!
The Family Centre successfully advocates to change ATAR exam conditions, recognising that students with type 1 must break their concentration frequently
to attend to diabetes management tasks, and need
extra time to work on their
papers to account for this.
We’re visited by the
Federal Health Minister!
The Hon Sussan Ley MP loved her tour of the Family Centre and an insight into
our innovative model of care.
We celebrate our first birthday with an
aptly-themed SUPERHERO PARTY!
The Family Centre is published in the peer-reviewed literature again! Our CEO Bec publishes two papers in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine about Scuba diving with type 1 diabetes.
Sebastien Sasseville, type 1 diabetic mountaineer
and ultra-athlete, visits the Family Centre from Canada and wows our tribe with his stories about summiting Mt Everest and running across Canada.
The Family Centre is represented by our diabetes educator and dietitian at our first Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting, where Amy presents a poster about our Babysitters’ Training program.
We’re the first ones to bring FlexIT, a fast and effective two-day flexible insulin therapy program designed by the Baker Institute, to WA.
The Family Centre partners with Telethon and Leeuwin Estate to present our first joint Leeuwin Estate Luncheon.
The Leeuwin Luncheons have raised $943,295.70 in
vital funds for the Family Centre over four years.
The Family Centre leads advocacy with the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society and the Australian Diabetes Society to change Australia’s position on Scuba diving for people with type 1 diabetes, allowing them to access the sport
for the first time.
In 2017, alongside our camp program, we took our tribe on exciting adventures including rock climbing, to Penguin Island, and to the zoo! We also developed a series of new education workshops: the Teen Survival Toolkit (alcohol, partying and staying safe), Educate your Support Network, and our Diabetic and the Dietitian series.
The Family Centre launched its dietetics and diabetes education clinic, which now successfully supports hundreds of patients to manage type 1 with our
tech-savvy, judgement-free and food-first approach.
Our CEO, Bec, who lives with type 1 diabetes, swims her first Rottnest Channel solo. She’s now completed four solos and raised over $130,000 for the Family Centre – proving to our community that a life with type 1 can be a life without limits.
Between April and August,
our community was inspired
by three more Life Without Limits events: Type 1 ultramarathon runner Roger Hanney, body confidence expert Dr Katherine Iscoe, and
a return visit from mountaineer and ultra-endurance athlete Sebastien Sasseville.
The Family Centre’s advocacy changes NAPLAN protocols to ensure that students with type 1 diabetes have appropriate access to medical equipment in test conditions.
We got a visit from the PM! Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Justice Minister Michael Keenan visited the Family Centre to discuss extending Continuous Glucose Monitor subsidies and our unique model of care.
The Family Centre launches a mental health support service, partnering with Direction Psychology to provide clinical psychology services at the Family Centre.
We’re published, again!
In collaboration with researcher Caryn Zinn PhD from the University of Auckland, the Family Centre publishes a paper assessing the nutrient intake of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet in the British Medical Journal Open.
Type 1 diabetic ultra-endurance cyclist Neil McLagan rides across Australia in 20 days to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and funds for the Family Centre under the banner of “Crossing for a Cause”.
The Family Centre launches its HbA1c blood testing service, proudly supported by the St George Foundation.
We do our first insulin pump start-up at the Family Centre – launching a vital service supporting access to insulin pump and CGM technology through our clinic.
Australia’s favourite type 1 TV personality, Rob Palmer, visits the Family Centre!
We celebrate being Finalists in the Stirling Business Awards.
With the vision of establishing a whole-of-life service, the Family Centre launches its Adults’ Community, which is now a thriving community connecting hundreds of adults living with type 1 around WA.
Our Diabetes Educator
Amy Rush wins
both the WA and national Credentialled Diabetes Educator of the Year Awards!
The Family Centre wins the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Australian Charity Awards.
Type 1 diabetic cyclist, Kyle Masterman, rides the whole length of the 1000-kilometre Munda Biddi bike trail in ten days for the Family Centre.
The Family Centre’s colourful
new logo and newsletter, Tribe Talk, launches.
Our CEO, Bec Johnson,
is awarded the only Fellowship given to an Australian to the Facebook Community Leadership Program, which recognises 100 of the most innovative and dedicated community leaders
in the world.
The Family Centre is recognised by Insulin Nation as new model of care.
Our “Drive Your Diabetes” program, which offers subsidised clinic appointments to young people, is launched.
Telethon Community Cinemas chooses
us as a charity partner and our first
We launch our Australia-first Schools' Education program, sending our diabetes nurse educator into schools to present training that is specifically customised for each student with type 1 diabetes. Since 2019 we’ve trained more than 800 school staff to care for children with type 1 diabetes.
The Family Centre is represented internationally with a poster presentation about meeting the nutrient guidelines with a reduced-carbohydrate diet
at the Low Carb Denver conference.
The Flametree Luncheons, the Family Centre signature fundraising event, have raised over $162,600 for the Family Centre over the past 3 years
Between June and August, we deliver our new education event series: ‘Movement’, ‘Mindset’ and ‘Metabolism’. We also visit tens of GPs, hospital diabetes teams, pharmacies, and medical centres to raise awareness of the Family Centre’s services and community.
The Family Centre launches its first online education program on national news! Cyber Carbs is Australia’s first online carb-counting course.
The Family Centre is named a Finalist
for the Social Change Maker Award at
the Telstra Business Awards!
Katie Thivener from the Barbara Davis Centre in Colorado – one of America’s largest diabetes centres – visits the Family Centre to bring some
of our magic back to the USA.
The Family Centre runs an edgy
and interesting information night on
Looping – DIY and commercial
closed-loop insulin delivery systems.
Our CEO Bec Johnson completes two out of her three planned ultramarathon swims for her Life Without Limits campaign, raising $85,000 for the Family Centre.
We launch our Type 1 Mothers’ Group for mums and mums-to-be living with type 1 diabetes.
The Family Centre responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by going digital, offering telehealth clinics, and connecting, supporting and informing our tribe through our online communities, which run 24 hours a day.
We launch our first regional Chapter Community in the South West, led by type 1 volunteer, Georgia Catoni!