Community Champions

Meet our champions

Our Community Champions are people who are helping others by sharing their story about diabetes. They show us that there are many Aboriginal people who are living a healthy life and so you can too.


  • Jerry was born in Moora (Noongar Country) but grew up in Mullewa (Yamajji Country) then spent the next 40 years in the Pilbara (Marlpa) Country. Jerry was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 15 years ago. He played sports right up to the age of 36 and as devastated as he was, he has now worked really hard to manage his diabetes and says “things are looking ok”. Jerry also has Heart Disease but feels good and often receives compliments about how healthy he looks!

    Jerry Maher, Pilbara, WA

  • I am 62 years young and I have had type 2 diabetes for over 20 years. I am fit and happy, and always very careful with what I eat. I have plenty of fruit and vegetables and walk every day to stay active. I always choose water for a drink when I am thirsty. It really doesn’t matter how old you are, you can stay healthy. Be active and remember to take your water bottle with you everywhere.

    Jesse Bateman, Port Hedland, WA

  • I have been living with diabetes for many years and now I am keen to help others understand what is important so that you don’t get the illness. So please eat good food and be active. I have grandchildren who I want to see be healthy and I always tell them to drink lots of water, eat their fruit and veggies and come play outside.

    Sharron Yarran, Perth, WA

  • My message to prevent type 2 diabetes would to be to make sure that you have a healthy and active lifestyle. I use footy as a great way to keep fit, but there are many other sports you can do, like basketball and netball. It’s important to think of the types foods you eat to help you be healthy and to do well at sports.

    Troy Cook, Former AFL player for the Fremantle Dockers, and Sydney Swans, currently a program manager at the David Wirrpanda Foundation

  • I have a family history of type 2 diabetes, so I know, to live longer and stay strong is to be healthy and active. My body is my instrument so as a stage performer I have to make sure that I am getting plenty of fruit and veg and that my food is low in fat to perform my best. I didn’t start out my life as a healthy child but now I strive my best to avoid diabetes in the future so I can stay strong for my family and keep on living my dream in music.

    Candice Lorrae Lloyd - aka Ulla Shay, award winning Indigenous artist, Perth WA

  • I have had type 2 diabetes for over 15 years. Some changes I made to improve my health were eating a healthy breakfast, drinking more water and eating more fish, salads and fruit. Every one says I look 10 years younger too! My wife Lesley and I have both lost 20 kilograms each and we make sure we get plenty of exercise. The town of Harvey was inspired by my healthy changes and are taking the right steps forward in their own health journey.

    Vince Hugle, Harvey, WA





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contain names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.