Our history

We have a long and proud history.

From humble beginnings, Diabetes NSW & ACT has grown to become Australia’s oldest and largest member-based diabetes charity. In 2018 we were proud to mark 80 years of supporting people living with or at risk of diabetes, their families and carers across NSW and the ACT.

The Diabetic Association of Australia (as we were first known) was founded in 1938 by Sir Kempson Maddox. His aim was to provide benefits and services and to be a powerful voice for those living with diabetes.

We have remained true to this and today continue to provide educational programs and advocacy services, and to fund vital research into better treatments so those in the diabetes community can live their best lives. We have more than 45,000 members who are at the core of everything we do.

Diabetes NSW & ACT continues to remember our founder through our annual Sir Kempson Maddox Award, which is presented to a person who has made a significant contribution to the diabetes movement and is helping to improve the lives of people living with diabetes.

Some key dates from our history

1938 Formation of Diabetic Association of Australia

1945 Inaugural kids camp held with nine children (Pictured above)

1953 First dietitian appointed recognising the link between diabetes and food

1987 National Diabetes Services Scheme established

2004 First Exercise Physiologist appointed recognising the link between diabetes and exercise

2015 Name change to Diabetes NSW

2016 Merger to form Diabetes NSW & ACT

2018 45,000 members and 100 staff creating a strong support network

2021 Our members voted nearly unanimously to merge with Diabetes Australia

Join our community of over 45,000 people living with diabetes