There was a full moon rising when about 80 Diabetes Queensland
members and supporters climbed Brisbane's Story Bridge, which was
lit blue for the night to mark National Diabetes Week (July
Generously sponsored by Abbott, the climb helped keep the
spotlight on our members and their journeys with diabetes.
It was just one event in a busy week that was launched by a
special Kellion ceremony where Dr Alan Stocks AM and 22 other
people received their Kellion Victory Medal for living 50, 60 and
70 years with type 1 diabetes.
The morning tea also marked Dr Stocks' retirement from the
Kellion Foundation. He was central to founding the Kellion Medals
based on a similar idea in the US.
Dr Stocks' friend and colleague, Dr Neill Decker, told the crowd
that Dr Stocks has administered the key verification and
eligibility of the Kellion Victory Medals Scheme for 35 years. In
that time, there have been nearly 2000 medal recipients, with Dr
Stocks as the sole administrator.
"A major Australian Research Program is to be established in his
name and is to be funded by the Kellion Diabetes Foundation and
Diabetes Australia," Dr Decker said.
"This new research program, called the Dr Alan Stocks Kellion
Victory Medallist Research Program, will help the diabetes movement
to better understand how people with diabetes in Australia can live
well and long."
Diabetes Queensland President Craig Beyers and CEO Sturt
Eastwood were at the event to thank Dr Stocks on behalf of members
for his huge contribution and many years of dedication, as well as
to congratulate the other Kellion winners.
It was the start of a busy week for Sturt. He recorded
interviews throughout each of Queensland's media regions and
provided local statistics and a
media release about the number of Potentially Preventable
Hospitalisations and people with diabetes in local government areas
including: Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg,
Gladstone, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Mount Isa, the Gold Coast,
Fraser Coast, Stanthorpe and Toowoomba. We recorded media hits in
daily newspapers, radio and regional TV news bulletins across the
A news item on Sunday night across most TV stations of Diabetes
Australia's media conference to launch the week nationally
highlighted the fact that people with diabetes account for
one-third of hospitalisations in Australia.
Sturt was also quoted in the Courier Mail for a story about one
of the Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART) grant winners,
Professor Jeff Coombes, and his research with personalised
exercise and type 2 diabetes. The four Queensland DART winners'
achievements were highlighted in the state's first DART awards
ceremony, which was held after the Story Bridge climb. Click
here to read more about the research projects which your
support has made possible.
Diabetes Queensland promoted each of these events through social
media including Facebook and Twitter, which recorded increases of
engagement of 380 percent and 1,200 percent respectively compared
with the previous week.
Part of our job is making sure as many people as possible know
about diabetes, so the public and decision makers such as
politicians keep in mind we are a community that needs their
support. Leveraging social media traffic from events is one way we
can spread awareness.
Social media doesn't just happen. As some of us were at a
Diabetes Queensland-Abbott education session on flash glucose
monitoring, others were filming at the Story Bridge, and one
staffer stood at the cliffs above Howard's Wharf to get the best
picture of the Story Bridge lit blue.
While there, she talked members of a photography club who were
also taking pictures into sending us their best photos for use. One
of their offerings fronts this report.
"Think of it as a donation to a special cause," one of the
photographers said in his email the following day.
We did, gratefully.