Launch of the Passing on Wisdom: Jason’s Diabetes story

The Federal Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP launched the Passing on Wisdom: Jason’s Diabetes story on 9 December 2017.

Page last updated: 13 December 2017

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9 December 2017

Thank you to everyone for joining us.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to our Noongar Elders, past and present. I extend a special welcome to family and friends from Yamatji country.

We’ve come together for a special reason, for a very special man – because Jason wanted his story and his message shared.

This is a big responsibility, and I know we will all do everything in our power to help grant his wish.

Today we remember many things.

We remember his talent, his strength, his joy and how much love he shared – and still shares in our hearts.

We remember our incredible sadness since he made the brave, but heartbreaking decision, to end his treatment and say goodbye.

We remember how Jason was always wanting to change the world for the better – through his music, through his love and loyalty for his friends and family, through just being Jason.

And I know, as we go forward from today, that our people and our nation will soon remember him for another reason – for his health message – the heartfelt and fundamentally important words he speaks so clearly in the video that we, and the world, are about to see.

“Passing on Wisdom: Jason’s Diabetes story”, is strong but humble. He tells it like it is.

He has no self-pity, just wise words that apply to all Australians.

In one sense, this is a message of devastating loss – of what might have been if Jason had heeded some early warnings.

But far moreso, this is a message of hope, for the rest of us and for generations to come.

It’s about diabetes, it’s about lifestyle choices – but more broadly, Jason wants us to talk about men’s health and, especially, Indigenous men’s health.

Most importantly, he wants us to listen.

Jason’s video is a stark reminder of the importance of us men taking care of our ourselves – that making sure we survive is an essential part of giving love to those who mean the most to us.

We know that Australian men have poorer health outcomes than women in many areas, and an overall shorter life expectancy.

We know that men are more likely to be overweight or obese, to smoke daily, and to drink alcohol at levels that place them at risk of lifetime harm.

Jason’s message reinforces my top health priorities: Men’s health, kidney, eye and ear health, maternal and child health and preventable hospital admissions.

One of Jason’s many legacies will be to bring the importance of healthy living home to thousands of people.

I thank the University of Western Australia’s WA Centre of Rural Health, and media group Health Communications Resources for your support.

I pay special tribute to Jason’s family, for sharing this time with us and for putting in so much work to help make his dream come true.

But most of all, I thank Jason – and I am so proud of him.

Proud that even as he faced death, his thoughts were only for the living – to leave a message I hope every one of us will heed.

A life-changing message – a lifesaving message.

Thank you.

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