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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 673

Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (11:32): I am pleased to support the motion moved by the member for Hasluck. Like the member for McMahon, who is in my neighbouring electorate, I am concerned about the rapid increase of diabetes in western Sydney. It is something that all of us who represent this part of Australia are quite concerned about and it is nice to see the member for McMahon here today supporting this motion.

As many previous speakers have noted, diabetes is a serious health concern for our entire nation. With eight per cent of Australians living with diabetes it is fair to say that everyone would know someone who is affected in some way. In January this year, I was pleased to meet a remarkable young advocate, Emma Hogan from Glenmore Park, who, at just 12 years of age, is working for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Emma was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of seven. Emma knows, firsthand, what it is like to live with diabetes—the discipline and lifestyle that it requires to keep her diabetes under control. Luckily for Emma, she is an amazing advocate and has a very supportive and loving family. This has enabled her to be a trailblazer in her work in getting the message out about juvenile diabetes. Unlike her friends, she cannot fill up on fairy bread at parties. She has to weigh her food and estimate its nutritional content.

Emma is just one of the many people across Australia who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Emma is particularly special because of her work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Each year she participates in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, where last year she raised funds for diabetes research. What impresses me most about Emma is how effective she is at raising awareness of juvenile diabetes, particularly across her school communities. I am also impressed at how she has worked and engaged with our local media. Next year she hopes to participate in Jump to Cure Diabetes, where she has set herself the ambitious target of raising $5,000. With this passion and commitment I am sure there are no bounds that Emma will not see. I am sure she will reach this goal.

Emma's aim, though, is simple, and I quote. Her aim is 'to raise both funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes so one day there will be a cure for me and for the 119,154 people in Australia suffering from type 1 diabetes'—a very noble cause from a very young and wise local woman. Through Emma's positivity and determination, I too have become extremely passionate about finding a cure for diabetes. As such, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the government's contribution in finding a cure for this terrible condition. I particularly want to acknowledge the government's commitment to ongoing diabetes research, with a $35 million contribution to the JDRF clinical research network and, further, for providing an additional $1.4 million for the Diabetes Insulin Pump Program.

As previous speakers have noted, the number of people living with diabetes in Australia is on the rise—and, as the previous member noted, also in Western Sydney. By 2035, it is anticipated that 14 per cent of Australians will live with diabetes. Alarmingly, incidents of diabetes are three to four times higher in the Indigenous communities, which makes this a significant concern, for my electorate in Western Sydney also has one of the highest urbanised populations of Indigenous persons.

I seek to reiterate the concern of the member for Hasluck and call on families, communities and healthcare services and industry to take urgent action to ensure, firstly, the prevention of diabetes; secondly, improve early diagnosis of diabetes; thirdly, support ongoing research into treatment and medications for diabetes; and, fourthly, effectively manage and treat diabetes. Once again, I would like to thank the member for bringing this important issue to the House.