House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Statements by Members

Australian of the Year: Dr James Muecke

1:37 pm

Photo of James StevensJames Stevens (Sturt, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Yesterday, Dr James Muecke, the Australian of the Year, was here at Parliament House. Since he was elevated to that august title this year, his focus has been on raising awareness of diabetes and particularly the impact of sugar on our diets.

Yesterday, he undertook a testing in front of the building, and a number of the members of the House and the Senate took the opportunity to go out and have a little blood prick as well as an ultrasound of their livers. A lot of us found some quite surprising results there. At the age of 37, I never thought that even at my age I would need to start making some changes to my diet and think very seriously about the amount of sugar consumption that we have in some unsuspected parts of our diet and the way in which that can lead to significant chronic health issues later in life, particularly type 2 diabetes and other issues to do with our liver and so on.

I really do commend Dr Muecke, who's a constituent of mine. It's been a difficult year, of course, as Australian of the Year, given travel restrictions. He has not had the same platform as he would ordinarily have had to travel around the country and raise awareness of this very important issue, but he's done it commendably well given the challenges. I commend his message to everyone in the House, and I thank him very much for the service that he's provided to our nation over this year.