The Diabetes WA Corporate Lunch kicked all the right goals at Fraser’s Restaurant, Kings Park on September 9.
The lavish fifth-annual event boasted a star line-up of the Hon. Roger Cook MLA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Mental Health, keynote speaker former AFL player and coach turned WA politician Ron Alexander and Fremantle Dockers champion Aaron Sandilands.
Diabetes WA board president Dr Moira Watson welcomed guests and presented a special video on the important work Diabetes WA does in the community.
Master of ceremonies and 6PR breakfast host Steve Mills then introduced Mr Cook to the lectern.
The Health Minister emphasised that type 2 diabetes was a “growing burden” on the state, and that Diabetes WA was working with the government to “reconfigure how we drive healthcare in WA.”
“WA is the largest and most isolated health jurisdiction in the world. This is why our partnership with Diabetes WA is so important,” he said.
Mr Cook also took the opportunity to announce the landmark $2.1 million Let’s Prevent program with Diabetes WA.
As joint chairman of the steering committee for the Perth Stadium, due to open in January 2018, Mr Alexander recalled his “interesting journey” since talks of a new stadium first began in 2006.
“If you want to attract people to live sport – away from the television – you have to have a good stadium,” he told the crowded room of more than 160 guests.
Mr Alexander praised the high quality build and new technology the stadium would offer (including the biggest LED light installation in the world), and joked that female sports fans would have even more to celebrate.
“There are 781 ladies toilets. My wife said “Don’t come home” unless we do a lot better than Subiaco Oval,” he said with a laugh.
“The only thing I’m disappointed about (with the new stadium) is that I’m way away from being able to play there.”
It was impossible to miss 2.11m-tall Sandilands when he took to the stage.
The footy favourite helped Diabetes WA award its door prize by selecting five guests to take part in a handballing competition.
The challenge proved harder than first anticipated, but after three founds (and a little assistance from Mr Mills) the winner, Fionnuala Franey from HBF, was declared.
In-between posing for photos and signing footballs for fans, Mr Sandilands also took the time to comment on the new stadium he will play at next season.
“It’s fantastic, not just as a player but as a fan,” he said.