It was an honour to win the esteemed Australian of The Year Award in SA for 2017, and to now be representing South Australia in January 2017. As a finalist last year, it was more than amazing to be nominated again, and even more incredible to not only be a finalist again this year, but to win amongst a group of such remarkable South Australians. This award is for ALL PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA in Australia and around the world, as everything I do, almost every day, is to improve the lived experiences for people with dementia.
Currently, there are more than 47.5 million people diagnosed with a dementia, and there is a new diagnosis every 3.2 seconds somewhere in the world. In Australia, there are more than 354,000 people diagnosed with dementia, including more than 25,100 of us under the age of 65. We must work towards improving outcomes for those of us diagnosed, and for our families, and not only focus on a cure.
My goal is to work hard to empower those diagnosed with dementia to live with dementia, and not only to die from it, and to teach others it is possible.
I intend to work on this until dementia or some other disease, perhaps even death, makes it no longer possible.
Thank you to everyone for your incredible support and well wishes, and especially to my husband and two sons, and a few special friends who are always by my side, if not in person, then always in spirit. You know who you are, and I love you.