Celebrating International Nurses Day 2023 12 May 2023 (left to right) Diabetes Australia nurses Timna Wright, Nicole McClure, Cathy Leftwich, Fleur Kelly, Queensland CEO Adj Prof Sue Hawes, and Rebecca Corbett celebrating International Nurses Day. Every year on 12 May, the world comes together to celebrate the nursing profession on International Nurses Day. It is a day to reflect and thank nurses for the care, compassion and commitment they share to us all, especially the diabetes community. The theme for 2023 is ‘A Voice to Lead: Our Nurses. Our Future’. This is an international campaign which sets out what nurses all around the world want for nursing in the future in order to address the global health challenges and improve global health for all. Today we acknowledge the diverse skills and experiences nurses have and the variety of contexts in which they work. Nurses are critical to the wellbeing of people living with diabetes whether it be acute, preventative, primary or community care, yet they are often the unsung heroes. At Diabetes Australia we are honoured to have many nurses among our staff who have completed post graduate qualifications to become credentialled diabetes educators and we take the opportunity to acknowledge their valuable contribution on International Nurses Day. Helping people to understand their diabetes and live fulfilling lives One such professional is registered nurse, credentialled diabetes educator and psychotherapist Carolien Koreneff. Carolien, who was born and qualified in the Netherlands, has been working as a nurse for almost 30 years and a credentialled diabetes educator for just over 25 years. She emigrated to Australia 27 years ago. “I am passionate about making a difference,” Carolien said. “Helping people to understand their diabetes, and what they can do to live more fulfilling lives while reducing the risk of developing, or the impact of, diabetes complications, is what inspires me.” Complications from diabetes can include heart and kidney disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, depression and anxiety. Carolien urges people with diabetes to “make it yours”. “Get into the driver’s seat and take control,” she said. “There is a lot you can do to improve your situation, and you can take it one step at a time. “You don’t have to do it alone. Ask for help along the way because that is what we’re here for.” Carolien joined Diabetes Australia in 2018 after 18 years in the Diabetes Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, Sydney. She is one of a few ‘Fellows of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association’ in recognition of her expertise in diabetes leadership, education and management, and contribution to the Diabetes Educators’ profession. Carolien has also trained as a somatic or body-oriented psychotherapist. “The combination of nursing, diabetes education and psychotherapy helps me to understand at a deeper level the needs, wants and concerns of people with diabetes and their carers and families,” she said. “Inspiring people, helping others find meaning and improve their self-worth, level of confidence and awareness, makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning. “I love sharing knowledge and helping people.” Carolien Koreneff, registered nurse, credentialled diabetes educator and psychotherapist Making a difference locally Diabetes Australia’s CEO in Queensland, Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes, has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years and has experience in emergency and disaster management, hospital, community, rural and remote, disability and aged care nursing. “I love being a nurse and always appreciate the contribution the profession of nursing makes to enhance the health and wellbeing of the community,” Sue said. “I see first-hand every day the difference the nurses working at Diabetes Australia make. I thank them for their professionalism and incredible commitment and dedication to their work. “We are so lucky to have such a highly educated, diverse and skilled team of nurses and other health professionals that genuinely care for each other and for people living with or at risk of diabetes. They want the absolute best outcome for every single person who seeks our support.” Happy International Nurses Day and thank you for all that you do!