Highly respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leader joins Diabetes Australia leadership team 12 November 2021 Ahead of World Diabetes Day (November 14), Diabetes Australia has appointed highly respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leader Deanne Minniecon to lead the organisation’s efforts to reduce the devastating impact the condition is having on First Nations Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost four times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to have diabetes or pre-diabetes and it is a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This year the global theme for World Diabetes Day is Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When? It is a timely reminder of the work Australia needs to do to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with diabetes can access the support and services to help reduce the impact of the condition. Ms Minniecon will lead Diabetes Australia’s efforts to address diabetes within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and provide support for people and communities in preventing and managing the complex condition. Diabetes Australia Chief Executive Officer Professor Greg Johnson said Deanne brought a wealth of experience to the role. “Deanne is a proud Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal woman, and is a respected, connected and strong advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia,” Professor Johnson said. “She has more than 25 years’ experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education, including roles with community-controlled health services, universities, the Queensland Government and non-government organisations. “We are very grateful to be able to draw on Deanne’s insight and expertise to tackle the issue of diabetes in First Nations communities.” For Deanne, the role is an opportunity to use her knowledge and experience to make a difference. “Diabetes is having a major impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health across Australia, and I am extremely committed to working with our communities and key partners to improve health outcomes,” she said. “The is an opportunity to make real change and have a long-term impact on the health of our peoples.” Deanne will be based in the Brisbane office.