Wellbeing Community Bushwalk marking World Diabetes Day
Diabetes Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Ms Sue Hawes, Health and Wellbeing Queensland Chief Operating Officer, Mr Mark Tuohy; volunteers; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging, including any First Nations people here today.
Welcome to our final Wellbeing Walk of the year, held in partnership with Health and Wellbeing Queensland.
Today we are walking in support of diabetes awareness, which is particularly timely as Monday was World Diabetes Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness of the impact diabetes has on people who live with the condition, as well as their families and support networks.
While we are blessed with a world-class health care system here in Queensland, we know that high rates of diabetes in our community place a strain on the system like few other conditions.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has some rather alarming recent statistics on diabetes. Although I doubt it will shock many of you, I’ll share with you breifly some of their findings:
Their figures show diabetes accounts for 11% of all hospitalisations in Australia. Of these admissions, the vast majority, 61%, are for Type 2 diabetes, which is wholly preventable.
In 2018-19, an estimated $3 billion of expenditure in the Australian health system was attributed to diabetes.
Diabetes disproportionally affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and those living in lower socio-economic or remote areas.
And babies of mothers living with diabetes in pregnancy were also at an increased risk of childhood metabolic syndrome, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes in later life.
Frightening stuff, but here’s the good news:
We can all play a part in reducing rates of diabetes and improving outcomes for those living with, or at risk of developing the illness.
How, you might ask...
Well, the first step is always to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, making healthy food choices, managing our blood pressure and cholesterol levels and of course, not smoking.
But additionally, we can raise awareness of diabetes in our community, and help our fellow Queenslanders to get on board with efforts to combat the disease.
In other words, exactly what we’re doing here today.
And so, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for turning up and helping to raise awareness about diabetes and staying healthy so that you can encourage your loved ones and communities to stay healthy too.
I would also like to acknowledge Health and Wellbeing Queensland, who have partnered with us to deliver these walks on a regular basis this year – and I’m sure they will agree, they have been a resounding success.
I hope you all enjoy today’s walk.