Historic vote creates a unified voice for people with diabetes
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Last week, in an historic vote, members of Diabetes Queensland and Diabetes NSW & ACT have agreed to merge with Diabetes Australia.
The vote, held at extraordinary general meetings on April 28 and 29, in Brisbane and Sydney, achieved overwhelming support from the member base.
“While many people thought that the state-based organisations were already part of Diabetes Australia, we were part of a federated structure,” said Sturt Eastwood, Chief Executive Officer of Diabetes Queensland and Diabetes NSW & ACT.
“With our members voting to come together with Diabetes Australia we have been given the opportunity to become a stronger organisation and shape the future of diabetes care and support in Australia.
“Our members, who are mostly people living with diabetes, are the big winners from this outcome. We will have a more influential voice to advocate with all levels of government, more opportunities to raise funds for research, and a continued commitment to the provision of specialist services and support for people living with or at risk of diabetes,” said Mr Eastwood.
Chair of Diabetes NSW & ACT, Arthur Koumoukelis, said “The Boards and Executive of Diabetes NSW & ACT and Diabetes Queensland carefully and thoroughly considered the opportunity before bringing it to members. We decided that this was the right time to ask our members to join with Diabetes Australia and make it a stronger national, member-led voice for diabetes.”
Chair of Diabetes Queensland, Craig Beyers, said, “It’s heartening to see that 98% of members who voted agreed that unifying under one organisation was their choice for the future.”
Chair of Diabetes Australia, Dr Michael Stanford AM, thanked the members of both organisations for their overwhelming vote in favour of merging with Diabetes Australia. “This is a momentous occasion for diabetes organisations in Australia and the first big step in unifying. We know that some of our other member organisations are planning to put a vote to their members in coming months, and we will continue to keep the diabetes community informed.”
“Importantly, local events, programs and services in Queensland, NSW and the ACT will continue to be offered as usual and we hope this support will continue to grow,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time as we take positive steps towards building a more influential national organisation supporting all people living with or at risk of diabetes,” Dr Stanford said.