The Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative has taken out the prestigious 2017 Pemulwuy Prize.
The award, for outstanding contribution to western Sydney, was presented by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in front of more than 400 delegates at the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s Out There Summit at Western Sydney University’s Rydalmere campus.
The winner was selected by the Dialogue’s Board of Patrons, and was one of six finalists who were category winners in the Western Sydney Leadership Awards.
The Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative was set up to address the epidemic of diabetes in greater western Sydney, where it is estimated that more than 50 per cent of its residents are overweight or obese, and at high risk of diabetes.
In response to the growing diabetes problem, Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN), NSW Premier’s Department and Cabinet, and Diabetes NSW and ACT have brought together many partners to work on solutions.
WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor said the award would help the initiative in its mission to raise awareness and inspire action to address the diabetes crisis.
“I’m delighted that the diabetes initiative has received this recognition, mainly [because] it continues to amplify the signal of the importance of the risk of diabetes to the population of western Sydney,” he said.
“At the moment, we have a thoroughly inadequate response to containing the spread of diabetes in the region.”
In response to the growing diabetes problem, WSLHD, WentWest Primary Health Network (WSPHN), NSW Premier’s Department and Cabinet, and Diabetes NSW and ACT have brought together many partners to work on solutions.
Professor Glen Maberly from the Diabetes Initiative said partnership between all levels of government and community were necessary to meet the diabetes challenge.
“I think it’s fabulous that we got the prize, especially at this kind of forum, because it gave us a voice that reached out to the Premier and to the key leaders in western Sydney, and this is something we’ve been wanting to have happen,” he said.
The Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative recognises that diabetes is everybody’s business.
Partnerships between community health services, general practice, hospitals, specialist practices and allied health needed to be improved so that residents with diabetes, or at risk of diabetes, have access to more integrated and comprehensive diabetes services.
“Diabetes is arguably the single biggest health challenge we face in western Sydney,” chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Christopher Brown said.
“WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor, along with the partners of the Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative, should all be congratulated for bringing attention to the magnitude of this issue, and importantly, examining possible solutions.”
To become a finalist for the Pemulwuy Prize, the Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative won the Western Sydney Leadership Award for “Productive Partnerships”, beating a stacked field of Leadership Award winners in the other five following categories.