Diabetes WA has a long and proud history of supporting the WA diabetes community; in 2015 we celebrated our 50 year anniversary.
Our story starts in in the 1960s with two families.
When their 3-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1961, Ken and Betty Walker began a desperate search for information on the condition and how to manage it. The information they found was limited, and local support was non-existent.
In 1965 Ken visited the Diabetes Federation of Australia in Melbourne and asked them to help him set up a similar organisation in WA. It was here that he learned a fellow Western Australian, Reg Harle, was seeking to do the same thing.
The Harle and the Walker family joined forces to set up the Diabetic Association of Western Australia, the very first incarnation of Diabetes WA.
The first meeting of the fledgling organisation was held on 18 August 1965. More than 100 people turned up to that meeting. Reg Harle was sworn in as President, Arthur Williams as Secretary and Murray Gardiner and Ken Walker as joint Treasurers.
Together they worked to create an organisation that would inform and support those affected by diabetes. They fostered a strong diabetes community, hosting lectures and social events, and took particular interest in establishing camps for children living with diabetes.
Their work has paid off. Today we are the state’s peak body for people living with diabetes – our membership exceeds more than 10,000 people. We inform, educate, support and advocate on behalf of the thousands of West Australians who live with this chronic condition.