Awareness and Advocacy
- In 2017, we were visited by Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Deputy Premier Roger Cook.
- The Family Centre successfully advocated to change exam conditions for secondary school students undertaking ATAR exams, ensuring students with type 1 diabetes are able to access extra time to use at their discretion during exams – not simply ‘time to rest’.
- We advocated for all tests administered by the Schools Standards and Curriculum Authority, in particular NAPLAN testing, to recognise and meet the needs of students with type 1 diabetes. The federal NAPLAN administrative body, ACARA, has adjusted its testing protocols to ensure that the medication, equipment and other needs of students with type 1 diabetes are explicitly captured by the protocols.
- The centre successfully advocated to change the position of the Australian Diabetes Society to allow people with type 1 diabetes to attain medical clearance to scuba dive in Australia, a sport that historically they have been denied access to in Australia. The position changed in December 2016.
Peer and Psychosocial Support
- The Family Centre established and administers an Online Parents Community which has nearly 600 members and grows weekly. This forum is for WA-based parents only and operates seven days, 24 hours a day, and provides a safe, carefully-moderated online space for parents to seek support.
- The centre run the only camps for teenagers with type 1 diabetes Western Australia, and we also run Family Camps. The centre has taken over 350 people on camps, allowing them to build friendships with others living with the same challenges, and breaking down the isolation living with diabetes imposes.
- The centre holds more than 20 community and educational events each year.
- We have been visited by inspiring speakers to visit the Family Centre, including Dr Troy Stapleton (a type 1 diabetic medical professional who manages with a low carbohydrate approach), Sebastien Sasseville (type 1 mountaineer and ultra-endurance runner), and Roger Hanney (type 1 ultramarathon runner).
Education and Information
- The Family Centre developed Type 1 Babysitters’ Training, a one-on-one workshop tailored individually to each type 1 child – the first program of its kind in Australia. We have trained over 200 babysitters so far, and the program has been licensed by Diabetes NSW. We also train schools and daycare centres in type 1 diabetes management.
- The centre is the only organisation in WA to deliver the Baker IDI ‘Flex IT’, a 2-day education program about flexible insulin therapy for adults with type 1.
- The centre launched the unique ‘Solutions Forum’ community education model: face-to-face forums where people with type 1 can crowdsource answers to their practical diabetes dilemmas from other people living with diabetes. Past Solutions Forums have covered sport and exercise, type 1 technology, educating your extended family about type 1, becoming a young adult with type 1, and accessing disability-related entitlements.
- The centre runs regular nutrition workshops for both teenagers and younger children, giving them opportunities to meet other kids with diabetes, teaching them how to make simple, healthy meals, and offering education and options about managing the carbohydrate load of their meals.
- The Family Centre runs a dietetics and diabetes education clinic, and has partnered with Direction Psychology to provide clinical psychology services and group-based therapy.