Former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has taken over the reins of Diabetes Australia from retiring president Judi Moylan.
Mr O’Farrell, who was Premier of the NSW Liberal government from 2011 to 2014, is described as “an outstanding person with a strong background in public policy, expertise in understanding how and where decisions are made and identifying opportunities for successful input,” by Ms Moylan.
“He will bring his own strengths in government and community relationships, and innovative and dynamic leadership to Diabetes Australia. I am looking forward to continuing to support Diabetes Australia and Barry in my ongoing role as a Government Affairs Advisor for Diabetes Australia,” she said.
Mr O’Farrell was once the butt of humour from his political opponents due to his weight, but is reported to have lost 40-50 kilograms in recent years. He said his personal experience with obesity and its metabolic risks had attracted him to the role with Diabetes Australia.
“My father’s diabetes contributed to his early death in 1991 and, before my own weight loss, I was a prime candidate for type 2 diabetes,” he said.
“I want to help ensure Diabetes Australia continues to be a strong national voice advocating for all people affected by diabetes and providing important information, education and support to over 1.3 million Australians currently diagnosed with diabetes.”
As Premier of NSW, Mr O’Farrell was a supporter of health such as the the National Disability Insurance Scheme and more recently has been a board member of Obesity Australia.
He resigned as Premier in 2014 after it was revealed he had accepted a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange wine from the head of a company linked to Eddie Obeid, who has since been jailed for corruption.