DESMOND Training

DESMOND – Does it deliver for Aboriginal People?

DESMOND stands for ‘Diabetes Education Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed’. The DESMOND program can help people living with type 2 diabetes manage their diabetes better. DESMOND allows people to share their story and learn about diabetes in a group setting.

The DESMOND approach to diabetes education is different in that participants are not ‘lectured’ in a formal way. Instead participants are supported to discover and work out knowledge they need to effectively self-manage, to share their stories and to allow this to inform goals and plans they make for themselves to manage ‘their’ diabetes. The DESMOND program is proven to change what people believe about diabetes, improve levels of physical activity, reduce consumption of fatty foods and to improve cholesterol levels in UK and non-Aboriginal Australian populations.

In 2013/14 Diabetes WA worked in partnership with WA Aboriginal communities and local health services to explore whether DESMOND met the needs of Aboriginal people with diabetes. A total of 45 participants attended these trial sessions and initial results showed that Aboriginal participants found the DESMOND program and format to be useful, effective and culturally appropriate.

Based on these findings, the Department of Health has funded Diabetes WA to deliver a two year pilot project delivering a modified version of DESMOND to Aboriginal people in WA in South West, Wheatbelt and Goldfields-Esperance regions. This trial aims to assess if the DESMOND program and style of delivery improves diabetes outcomes for Aboriginal people, to the same extent as it does in the non-Aboriginal population. The trial will involve:

  • Delivering the DESMOND program to Aboriginal people
  • Providing DESMOND Facilitator Training to health professionals and Aboriginal health workers and practitioners
  • Providing support to health professionals and Aboriginal health workers and practitioners in the regions to deliver DESMOND in their communities
  • Getting feedback from Aboriginal people and health workers on the DESMOND program


Partner with us

We are seeking health organisations that are interested in supporting this project. If you have staff who are already DESMOND trained we can support you to deliver DESMOND with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Please contact Melissa Robinson at or (08) 9436 6268.


Aboriginal Health Worker and Practitioner Training

Diabetes WA acknowledges that Aboriginal Health Workers and Health Practitioners are vitally important to the success of this project. We are holding training for Aboriginal Health Workers and Health Practitioners to become DESMOND facilitators.

To become a DESMOND Facilitator you must:

  1. Be a registered Aboriginal Health Worker or Practitioner
  2. Attend one full DESMOND program to see what it is and how it works
  3. Attend Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioner DESMOND Training
  4. Deliver at least 3 DESMOND Programs in your community


For more information and dates of DESMOND training please contact Melissa Robinson at or on (08) 9436 6268.



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