Monday, 28 March 2022

It is my great pleasure to welcome the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation community to Government House.

50 years ago group of Australian parents, whose children had type 1 diabetes, gathered around a kitchen table.

Their goal was to improve their children's quality of life, and ease the strain of this chronic disease on their families.

They established a group which later became an affiliate of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a US-based organisation which now has a presence in six countries. 

This evening we pay tribute to the Foundation in Australia, and its extraordinary growth and achievements during the past half-century. 

We honour those passionate parents, whose modest vision has been far surpassed by the Foundation, which is now the leading supporter of type 1 diabetes in the world.

In particular, we honour the many South Australians past and present who have helped the Foundation to pursue its goals. 

Every day, approximately eight Australians - both children and adults - are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Treatments are live-saving but are a big commitment for patients and their families.

40 percent of people with the disease experience complications.

On top of this, patients must deal with general confusion in the community over how the disease develops, and the stigma that can come with it.

I commend the Foundation for its commitment to finding a cure, and in the meantime, supporting patients and their families to live their best lives possible.

I congratulate the Foundation on the role it has played in recent milestones, including a 12 time increase in clinical trials over the past 15 years, the eradication of millions of needles due to insulin pumps since 2008, and a 20 percent reduction in death rates among people with type 1 diabetes.

I thank each and every one of the Foundation's community here this evening for your vision, dedication and hard work.

Friends, thank you for your contribution to the Foundation and the powerful work it is doing in our community.

Whether you are a scientist at the cutting edge of research, a staff member shaping policy, a long-time fundraiser, volunteer or corporate supporter, you are making a unique and powerful contribution to the fight against diabetes in this country.

Congratulations to you all and I wish the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation every success for the next 50 years.