Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Program

Diabetes and Aboriginal Australians

The rates of diabetes for Aboriginal Australians are estimated to be three times higher than for other Australians.

Aboriginal people in remote areas are twice as likely as non-Aboriginal Australians to report having diabetes and in some Aboriginal communities the prevalence of diabetes could be as high as 30 per cent. Aboriginal people are diagnosed at younger ages with type 2 diabetes and can have an excess of avoidable complications resulting in earlier death, compared with other Australians.

How's Your Sugar?

A website developed for Indigenous people by Indigenous people, How's Your Sugar, is a peer-to-peer narrative based website developed by Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, Victoria University Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Education and Training Unit and Western Suburbs Indigenous Gathering Place.

"From the outset we wanted Indigenous people with diabetes and their families to come to the website and think 'deadly, this was made for us by our own mob'." 

Go to the How's Your Sugar website.

What is DA–Vic doing?

Over the past few years we have been active in developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (A&TSI) communities. We have strengthened partnerships with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) who represent a voice for Koorie Health issues in Victoria.

We support Aboriginal health workers in the design of culturally appropriate resources.

Aims of the DA–Vic A&TSI program

  • Raise the profile of DA–Vic in A&TSI communities
  • Support Aboriginal health worker training in diabetes
  • Participate in the development of Koorie diabetes resources
  • Monitor ongoing consultation and input from Aboriginal communities.
  • Improve health outcomes for Aboriginal Australians
  • Support Aboriginal health workers in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and management of diabetes

Achievements in the last 12 months

  • Consultation and developing links with A&TSI communities
  • Development of the Aboriginal health worker and health professional diabetes manual
  • Development of the Grapevine newsletter. Keeping health professionals and Koorie diabetes networks up to date on diabetes information
  • Assessment of the regional needs of Aboriginal health workers and Aboriginal communities

Future directions

  • Development of culturally appropriate diabetes resources
  • Development of a Koorie diabetes resource kit
  • Indigenous awareness training for our staff

More information

For more information or to talk with a dietitian, diabetes nurse educator or Aboriginal liaison officer on phone 1300 136 588.

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