Indigenous Australians are 3 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

This number of people with diabetes is even higher for those Indigenous Australians living in remote areas. Indigenous Australians are also at greater risk of complications (including amputations) than non-Indigenous Australians, with a 10-fold higher risk of kidney failure and up to 8-fold higher risk of high blood pressure.

Proper footwear is an important part of treating people with diabetes, even for those in the early stages of the disease. Wearing the right footwear is crucial and can prevent serious diabetic foot complications.

The Diabetics Footwear initiative, which the community identified as a priority, has seen sandals provided to chronic diabetics in the Lockhart River community.  As well, the community has received education and information around reducing the risk of infection and the importance of hygiene.

Former Puuya Foundation Chair Johnson Chippendale started this project and said that this was a community priority that would make a real difference to people’s lives.

The Puuya Foundation helped to broker relationships and encourage and support the community leadership which saw the project being sponsored by Sunrise Rotary and the Queensland Government’s Office for Liquor and Gaming.

The Apunipima Health Service and the Lockhart River Primary Health Care Clinic are important partners in making it happen.