Q&A with Lachlan Madden (Diabetes Queensland First Nations Health Unit)

My mob and where I’m from?

To start I’d like to pay respects to traditional owners of the country on which I grew up, live and work on, the people of Quandamooka and Elders past present and emerging.

My Grandfathers bloodline Carries back to Wiradjuri, I was born and raised on Quandamooka Country on Terangeri also known as Minjerribah or North Stradbroke Island in south east Queensland. 


How I became to be involved with Diabetes Queensland’s First Nations Health Unit?

It was by chance really. I studied Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice with the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in the Northern Territory and have only been in the health industry for a few years. The Institute really opened my eyes to the issue of diabetes within our communities and the effect it has on our people. This created a spark of interest for myself and by chance, I won a position with Diabetes Queensland.

I was employed within the First Nations Health Unit right as COVID-19 struck so I have had to be somewhat creative with the way I engage with mob and the health workforce who are living with and educating about Diabetes. I’m looking forward to being able to get back out into community and yarn up and share the message of the First Nations Health Unit. Yarning to community and education is something I am passionate about and am eagerly awaiting the green light to get out there.


Key message I would you like to share with our members during NDW2020

Keep connected with your local medical service and GP, encourage community members or clients to maintain contact and keep up to date with their Diabetes Management plans. I know COVID-19 is something that makes mob anxious about going back to the doctor but it’s also important that they don’t let that anxiety take its toll on their health.

This is especially important for our vulnerable community members who have other co-morbidities. These don’t go away just because COVID-19 is around. There are so many new forms of contact that we can make to support our communities to keep on top of their health conditions and lead healthy productive lives even with the restrictions that we are all living under at this uneasy time.

We have just created the “Diabetes Queensland First Nations Health” Facebook page so we can always be in contact, support and educate Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders their families or carers from anywhere we may be in the country. I encourage everyone to like and follow our page to get updates, helpful tips for Diabetes management, recipes for lovely feeds and an all-round safe space for mob to connect with other people living with the same condition.

July 15, 2020


Posted by: Renae Kilmister

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