Dr Alan Stocks AM, a giant in the diabetes
community, has retired from the Kellion Foundation on the same
day he received a Victory Medal to mark living with type 1 diabetes
for 60 years.
Dr John Turtle AO, Dr Alan Stocks AM, Neil Decker and John
To honour Dr Stocks' outstanding contribution, both as an
endocrinologist and the man who got the Kellion Victory Medals off
the ground, Kellion Foundation Chair Neill Decker announced the Dr
Alan Stocks Kellion Victory Medal Research Program, which will
focus research on medal recipients and their unique achievements in
living with diabetes for half a century or more.
Dr Stocks also became only the fourth person to receive
the Diabetes Australia Outstanding Service Award. In the words of
Diabetes Queensland's CEO Sturt Eastwood, Dr Stocks has left the
diabetes community an enduring legacy.
Dr Alan Stocks AM is presented with the Diabetes
Australia Outstanding Service Award by John Townend
Dr Stocks grew up in south London, and was a high achieving
student studying medicine at King's College Hospital when his life
"In 1959, just two days before I was about to qualify as a
doctor, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes," said Dr Stocks.
Even though he topped England with his surgery results, Dr
Stocks soon realised he was being overlooked for surgical
placements because of his diabetes.
"Being young and brash, I asked the Dean what I would have to do
to get a job in surgery. He told me he didn't think I'd cope with a
surgical role because of my diabetes.
"Two good things came from that. I got posted to St Giles
Hospital in Camberwell where I met a young Australian girl, Miriam,
doing her final exams in anaesthesia."
Dr Alan Stocks and Mrs Miriam Stocks
"I followed Miriam to Australia when she came home to Brisbane
in 1961. I proposed to her 12 months later and I'm glad to say
we're still very happily married to this day," he said.
Soon after arriving in Brisbane, Dr Stocks took up a role at
Princess Alexandra Hospital and it was while working there he
decided to train as a specialist in diabetes. It was a subject he
knew about from both sides of the table.
During his career, Dr Stocks has worked with world renowned
endocrinologists Professors 'Skip' Martin and John Butterfield, and
has been involved in private practice and research, including
pioneering studies into diabetes detector dogs.
He also conceived introducing a diabetes medal to recognise and
commemorate Australians for having survived with diabetes for 50,
60 and 70 years or more. In 1984, Diabetes Australia agreed to his
Dr Stocks asked Claude Kellion, who set up the Kellion Diabetes
Foundation to fund research after the premature death of his son
because of diabetes complications, if he would lend his name to the
The Kellion Victory Medals were born.
Dr Stocks received his 60-year medal at a special morning tea
hosted by Diabetes Queensland on Sunday 14 July to mark the
beginning of National Diabetes Week.
The event was made all the more special for Dr Stocks as he was
surrounded by a number of Kellion Victory Medal recipients who he
had personally helped on their own diabetes journey.
Craig Beyers, President of Diabetes Queensland, said, "It is a
privilege to acknowledge and celebrate Dr Stocks' personal journey
with diabetes and the significant contribution he has made to the
diabetes community in Australia.
'So many people including other Kellion
recipients here today credit Dr Stocks with turning their lives
"He helped improve the way they manage their diabetes which had
a profound and positive impact not only on their lives, but on the
lives of their families as well. He truly has made a meaningful
difference," Mr Beyers said.
Dr Stocks has been married to Miriam for 56 years. They have two
sons and grandchildren. Formerly a lyric tenor with a love for
Renaissance and Baroque music, he is also a keen golfer who hits
the course at least twice a week.
In looking back over his life, Dr Stocks said "One of the best
decisions I ever made was jumping on that ship to Brisbane. My life
has been overwhelmingly positive in every sense."
When it comes to diabetes care and management, Dr Stocks is
positive about the future, too.
"The wider range of insulins, medications and insulin pumps
means treatments are now more effective, with better long-term
outcomes compared to when I was diagnosed 60 years ago," he
Kellion Victory Awards are presented to people who have lived
with type 1 diabetes for 50, 60 and 70+ years. The awards recognise
what is possible while living with diabetes and celebrate the
significance of these milestones.