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Our History

In 1923, after studying the achievements of Sir Frederick Banting and Dr Charles Best who discovered insulin in 1921 (the most important discovery in the treatment of diabetes), Professor Thornburn Brailsford Robertson of The University of Adelaide began producing the first ever insulin in Australia.

Insulin gave people living with diabetes new hope, however, it neither cured nor prevented some of its serious complications. Education and support for people to manage their diabetes has always been paramount and the diagnosis of diabetes has an emotional impact on the person as well as their families. Support both practical and psychological was not always forthcoming from the professionals.

In September 1952, Dr Charles Best, arrived in South Australia to give a series of lectures. While here, he expressed a view that there should be a diabetic association in South Australia. "Such an association could run summer camps for diabetic children ... It could have a 'big brother or sister' movement, with older diabetics helping the new ones, and showing them that diabetes isn't so bad after all. There could be club rooms where diabetics could learn some of the mathematics of their diet."

In 1953 The Diabetic Association of South Australia Incorporated was established. The Association held its inaugural meeting on the 20th July 1953 and later incorporated under the Associations Incorporated Act on 21st May 1965. Whilst the Association is member based, its reach extends well beyond its supporting constituency to all people with diabetes.

Thanks to the vision of people like Dr Charles Best and his Australian colleagues, we now have the facility for people with diabetes to learn and overcome the challenges of living with diabetes and minimise the impact of diabetes on their health.

With the support of our Members and the South Australian community, the Association raises funds through lotteries, appeals, and our retail shop. Now, more than ever, Diabetes SA has been able to help people living with diabetes in South Australia by educating, advocating, supporting and funding research that provides better outcomes for people at risk or living with diabetes.

 
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