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Auxiliary

History 1961 - 2010

The Women’s Auxiliary was formed in November 1961 with 20 inaugural members, many of whom had been part of the Mothers’ Club that started in 1958. As well as acting as a mutual support group, one of their first initiatives was to visit people with diabetes in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This service which was of particular importance to patients without family support, was soon extended to other public hospitals in the belief that these visits did indeed help patients make a more rapid recovery. As a result the members of the Auxiliary started to visit people in their own homes, they helped the sick and gave support and encouragement to the newly diagnosed.

The first meetings of the Women’s Auxiliary were held in the Botanic Gardens. In addition to supplying suppers at general meetings of the Association, the women began holding trading tables to raise much needed funds. The Auxiliary meetings shifted from the Botanic Gardens to the home of Mrs Hack at Walkerville, so that members could prepare handicrafts for sale for future stalls.

In October 1964 the Auxiliary commenced holding its meetings in a meeting room in the Advertiser building. In 1967 the meeting moved to the Elder Park Kiosk. Unfortunately attendances at meetings were dropping and with only seven members attending the August 1967 meeting it was thought that the Auxiliary might not continue after the next meeting in October.

Diabetes Australia – South Australia (now Diabetes SA) responded by reaffirming the importance of the Auxiliary and promoting it in their Newsletter. In November 1968 the President, Mrs Roma Laught announced that the Auxiliary would continue to function.

In 1970, the Women’s Auxiliary moved into Gawler Place Advisory Centre and at last the Auxiliary had a place of their own. This did not last long with the increase in new members the Auxiliary moved to larger premises, fortunately they arranged to use the boardroom of the National Coursing Association in Aston House, Leigh Street, Adelaide where they remained for the next 6 or so years.

Although the Auxiliary had been a significant and inseparable part of the Association for nearly 30 years, the group had never been established officially in the Association’s Constitution. In view of this, in 1990 when the Association’s Constitution was being rewritten a section was included making the Auxiliary an official agent of the Association and requiring them to adopt the by-laws.

Throughout the 2000’s, the Auxiliary continued to distribute funds raised to help the Association and were proud to be able to provide funds for the purchase of a new photocopier, a deep freeze in the retail shop and a new compactus storage and filing system.

The Auxiliary has always been a well respected and valued contributor to Diabetes SA and has continued to make a very important and effective contribution to the Association’s goals.

2001 marked the International Year of Volunteers and to recognise this special occasion, the Premier’s Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Heather Green at the Association’s AGM. This award recognised Heather’s long-standing voluntary service to Diabetes SA and her 21 years as President of the Auxiliary. Heather continued on as President until the Auxiliary’s final meeting in 2009, a total of 29 years. After this time the Auxiliary still met socially as a group at Diabetes SA.

Fundraising Achievements

In the period of 49 years (1961 – 2010), the Auxiliary was responsible for raising much needed funds for the Association by holding Fundraising Stalls and Film Mornings.

In 1987 The Auxiliary launched a cookbook for people with diabetes, called 'Easy Diabetic Recipes'. The Auxiliary collected dozens of recipes and sent these to Melanie Stratil, the Dietitian at Diabetes SA who determined which ones were most suitable. Once the recipes were printed the Auxiliary sorted and bound the printed pages into a book.

The book sold out during the first week, a further 500 copies were ordered and another 1,000 copies by the end of September 1987. By the end of February 1988 a total of 2,000 copies of the book had been distributed and another 500 were in print.

In 1996 the cookbook was reviewed, updated and renamed to 'The Celebration Cookbook' and was launched in July at National Diabetes Week. The Auxiliary donated the $1,500 needed for it's review and another $10,000 for the printing. This book is currently being updated with the view to again selling this in our retail shop.

By the mid 1980's the Auxiliary provided most of the volunteers for badge days, lotteries, annual Diabetes Week and the mailing of the Association's newsletter, Alert.

It is fitting that the organisation recognises the work of the Auxiliary, not only the for their fundraising efforts over the 49 years but also their support, especially during the 1970's when the Association was facing increased costs and dwindling funds. Without the dedication and perseverance of this group and the infusion of their fundraising ideas and funds, the Association would surely have folded.

It is with sincere thanks that the Board of Management and Staff acknowledge the long term commitment and work undertaken by the Auxiliary during the period of 1961 to 2010.

Without your dedication and perseverance, we would not be the organisation we are today.

 
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