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2017 CDE of the Year recipients

Jan Baldwin National CDE of the Year

The prestigious ‘Jan Baldwin National CDE of the Year’ title in 2017 went to the CDE of the Year in Queensland Bernadette Heenan. She received a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to speak at the 2018 ADS-ADEA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

Left to right: Margaret Driscoll (Eli Lilly), Bernadette Heenan, Giuliana Murfet (ADEA)


CDE of the Year in Branches

ADEA is proud to congratulate recipients of the following CDE of the Year in branch awards, who also received a $1,000 scholarship towards their education:

CDE of the Year in ACT: Kristine Wright

ACT Health

Diabetes has been part of my life since meeting my husband 28 years ago. Although he has provided me with great insight and is often my ‘guinea pig’ allowing me to experiment on him, it was my first contact with my husband’s Credentialled Diabetes Educator Elaine Slater that inspired me to pursue a career in diabetes education.

Having a role model such as Elaine, I have been able to follow my passion of supporting clients with insulin pump therapy. I am motivated to support clients and their diabetes self-management journey with an insulin pump that allows them the freedom of living life to its fullest. This desire led my colleagues and I to research and develop a multi-disciplinary Pre-Pump Upgrade Discussion Group that is client led. The discussion group has been very successful as it allows clients to discuss management strategies they have tried with their peers.

If I have learnt anything over the years, it is that it is important for those with diabetes to know they have an enthusiastic and dedicated support team behind them.

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CDE of the Year in NSW: Dianna Fornasier

Shoalhaven Family Medical Centres

I am a Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Nurse Practitioner working full time in general practice with over twenty-six years of experience in the delivery of diabetes education and management across a broad spectrum of environments and cultures. I have worked in private practice, non-profit organisations, tribally-run health care consortiums and government entities in the area of diabetes education and mostly primary health care in rural remote areas of Alaska. I have clinical experience in remote rural medicine, intensive care, diabetes and primary care. I am passionate about team care health models embedded in general practice.

I routinely present at conferences and published journal articles on the topic of diabetes education in Australia and was a nominated speaker at the Diabetes World Conference in Melbourne in 2013. I am a Chief Investigator with the University of Wollongong, currently concluding a research project which is the development and validation of tool to assess the skills and knowledge of people with type 2 diabetes on insulin.

I became a CDE in Australia but I’ve been working in diabetes and the clinical environments in Alaska for many years. I had several wonderful mentors who were endocrinologists in Alaska, particularly Dr Cindy Schraerer. Various conversations with people with diabetes have been my biggest source of inspiration. I believe that any health professionals working with people with diabetes across the spectrum, particularly those in primary health care, should be well grounded in the complexities of diabetes from all aspects, including preventative medicine and impaired glucose tolerance.

I have worked hard to try and empower my colleague on the complexity of the needs of people with diabetes. I empower them to have a deep and generous attitude and a patient manner during consultations, particularly with people with diabetes. Something people may not know about me is that I love writing and poetry and wonder if one day one of my novels will get published.

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CDE of the Year in Queensland: Bernadette Heenan

Apunipima Cape York Health Council

Four years of working in a dialysis unit made me realise that I wanted to work in an area of prevention rather than end stage treatment and hence my move into the world of diabetes 17 years ago. It was the staff of the Cairns Diabetes Centre (especially Dr Michael Suthers and diabetes educator Jo Phillips) who then inspired and nurtured my interest in pursuing a long term career in this area. Flying with Dr Ashim Sinha on outreach to remote Indigenous Cape York communities from 2003-07 awakened my passion for working with Indigenous communities and I have continued on this path since then.

A challenge for me is how to get the “diabetes complications are preventable” message across to a myriad of remote clients with different languages, varying literacy levels and more pressing family and cultural priorities. Also knowing when to hold back and just provide them with brief intervention is a constant though rewarding challenge in the environment I work in.

I have developed many resources to assist our Indigenous clients in understanding their diabetes. I also use the latest technologies to help clients “see” the impact of glucose on their bodies. I advocate for my clients at every opportunity – phoning, texting, inviting, inventing, suggesting, emailing and getting involved in impromptu case conferences. Walking beside my clients, being with them on their diabetes journey and keeping the lines of communication open both ways – this is what I offer.

I used to be a fully-fledged card carrying librarian before I had a complete career change and got into nursing. Now, even if I won Gold Lotto, I would still be a CDE though I would have my own plane so I could jet up to the Cape at leisure!

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CDE of the Year in SA: Jayne Lehmann

EdHealth Australia

I am a CDE RN known across Australia as a diabetes care author, blogger, clinician, educator, innovator, leader, mentor, researcher, tweeter, presenter and writer. Clinics in Brighton, Clovelly Park and Malvern in South Australia plus visits to aged care and disability support services ensure a strong foundation to my work. Everything that I do in my role as a Credentialled Diabetes Educator is done to ensure people with diabetes are at the heart of my work.

My research and clinical experience have led me to design training programs, education strategies and resources for quality care of people with intellectual disability and diabetes. I was also the inaugural Convenor of ADEA’s Private Practice Special Interest Group and an active member of ADEA and the Adelaide Primary Care Network. I have received a number of national awards including an ADEA National Certificate of Recognition and Abbott’s Diabetes Care and Development Grant.

My new online platform DE@Connect, provides information, resources, YouTube clips and the diabetes coalface newsletter to support grassroots health professionals to provide quality primary diabetes care (

I have been around for so long I’m not sure there’s much people don’t already know about me, especially after my recent blogs on turning back the clock on getting diabetes in the future! I make my own gnocchi and lasagna sheets!

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CDE of the Year in Tasmania: Anne Muskett

Royal Hobart Hospital Diabetes Care

Working on a general medical/endocrinology unit sparked my interest in diabetes and the lifelong journey these people had to face. An opportunity arose to spend some time in diabetes education and so my involvement began. I was supported and mentored by some remarkable and dedicated women and I was encouraged to become involved in ADEA from the very beginning.

The ongoing day-to-day commitment of people with diabetes continues to astound me.  The management of diabetes is a constant reminder of a condition that can hit anyone. The struggle to deal with issues life throws at us, together with a chronic disease and the economic burden of life with diabetes are issues that concern me given the amount of support available. It is important to me that each person is supported to achieve the best control, as early as possible, to ensure the best outcomes.

I work within a multidisciplinary team all committed to providing excellence in diabetes care.  My role has been in promoting and supporting the development of skills to provide individualised support. I have also been involved in developing diabetes pathways within Tasmania through the state government and nationally through ADEA.

My seven year old grandson is teaching me to bodysurf after years of being the head counter left on the beach. I also enjoy the hustle and bustle of being somewhere new.

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CDE of the Year in Victoria: Fiona Scott

Fiona Scott Diabetes Education and University Hospital Paediatric Diabetes

I’m humbled to be awarded the CDE of the year in Victoria award though it’s not just about me. It’s also for the amazing people with diabetes, their families and the diabetes teams who I’ve had the privilege of working alongside.

In 2010 I helped to establish a Paediatric Diabetes Service at Barwon Health. Today the service includes an insulin pump and CGM clinic.

My challenge as a CDE is helping people with diabetes of all ages to believe in themselves and not see diabetes as a barrier towards achieving their dreams. Through identifying this challenge, the annual Dream Achieve Succeed Event was born, which we proudly run through the Barwon Health Paediatric Diabetes Service. Our event is now coming full circle with some of our children/adolescents and graduates from our service now sharing their stories of inspiration. By participating as a CDE with Diabetes Camps Victoria, and working in private practice I hope to further inspire people with diabetes and their families to see that diabetes is no obstacle. I’m also privileged to join Beta Change who share my passion to make a global impact.

My family are my inspiration. I am the CDE I am today because of their love, support and guidance professionally and through my own type 1 journey.

People may not know I see my diabetes as a gift; not one you would give to someone or want to receive but one that has given me so many opportunities. Living with diabetes has also taught me that alone I can make a difference, but if we work together nothing is unachievable in the world of diabetes.

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CDE of the Year in WA: Jaimee Rossborough

Princess Margaret Hospital for Children

I started out as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and went on to postgraduate study in diabetes education. My passion was lifestyle related-disease. Volunteering on a children’s T1D camp on the Gold Coast showed me I could make a difference for children and families living with T1D too. I then studied nursing to expand my career working in diabetes.

I think about the challenges children and caregivers go through every day and night and the impact this has on their daily life. The struggles some adolescents face and limited services in regional areas concern me.

My goal is to try and promote a non-judgmental, supportive and empowering environment for all people living with diabetes. I try to advocate and individualise care for each patient. Research has given me the opportunity to work very closely with adolescents, giving me a better understanding of their and their families’ challenges. I have also continued to work in the Eastern Wheatbelt while working at Princess Margaret Hospital to continue providing services with the latest technology and best practice.

In my personal life exercise makes me happy – whether it’s cycling, running or weight training.

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CDE of the Year Judging Panel

ADEA would like to thank the following members of the CDE of the Year Judging Panel:

Selection criteria

The Panel considered the following selection criteria when reviewing nominations: