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Australian Electronics Engineer wins Award for global diabetes breakthrough

Australian Diabetes Council (ADC) has presented its highest honour to the late Stanley Clark, whose innovation changed the lives of countless children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.
Mr Clark invented the first portable battery-operated blood-glucose monitor, which allowed people with type 1 diabetes to monitor their own sugar levels rather than having to go to a hospital.

The Sir Kempson Maddox Award was presented to Mr Clark’s family by ADC CEO Nicola Stokes at a ceremony during Diabetes Awareness Week.  Mr Clarks’ wife Audrey and daughter Lisa were joined by his grandchildren and close family friends when they accepted the award on his behalf.
“The Sir Kempson Maddox Award is our highest achievement and is awarded to one person each year who has made an exceptional contribution to the diabetes community,” said Ms Stokes.  “While Stan Clark is no longer with us, it’s an honour to be able to share this recognition with his family, who were his inspiration.”
“Regular blood glucose monitoring is now recognised around the world as an essential part of the day to day management of diabetes, particularly for those with type 1 diabetes.  Australians with diabetes owe a huge vote of thanks to Mr Clark, whose innovation made an incredible difference in their lives,” Ms Stokes said.
Mr Clark’s daughter Lisa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was five years old and it was her constant visits to the Children’s Hospital to stabilise her blood sugar levels that inspired her father to develop the blood glucose monitor.    When Lisa was given a bulky hospital glucose monitor to check her blood sugar levels upon her release, Stan set to work building a miniature version of it.  In little more than a week, doctors at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children had tested Mr Clark’s innovation for safety and accuracy and declared it the world’s first portable blood glucose monitor.
Mr Clark’s portable blood glucose monitor meant that for the first time people with diabetes were able to check and manage their own blood glucose levels quickly, accurately and regularly when they were on the go - at home, work or leisure -  rather than only when they were admitted to hospital.

The first 30 portable monitors delivered to the Children’s Hospital clinic quickly slashed the number of days spent by children being treated for diabetes from 360 to 56 days in one year. Local and international demand quickly outstripped the workshop established in Mr Clark’s kitchen, and a small factory was established in Sydney’s Dee Why.

Mr Clark’s daughter Lisa Harris said her family was “just on a buzz” after being presented with the Award.

“We are totally honoured by the Sir Kempson Maddox Award being presented to my dad,” Lisa said. “We feel that dad truly deserves the recognition for the help that he gave millions of people around the world who manage their diabetes every day.
“We hope his legacy will continue in the future,” Lisa said.
The Sir Kempson Maddox Award has been presented since 1986 and is named in memory of Sir Kempson Maddox, a pioneer in diabetes treatment in the 1930s and founder of the Diabetic Association of Australia, now known as the Australian Diabetes Council. 
27th July, 2013 marks the organisation’s 75th Anniversary, making it one of the oldest diabetes charities in the world.
As part of the ceremony, Ms Stokes also announced that ADC is working in collaboration with the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney to establish the ‘Stan Clark Fund’, to ensure that Mr Clark’s work is remembered in future.

The Fund is an annual grant of $15,000 a year for five years, and has been awarded to endocrinologist Professor Stephen Twig to assist him in his work within the diabetes arena.
For more information about diabetes visit www.australiandiabetescouncil.com  or call Australian Diabetes Council toll free number: 1300 342 238.