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Diabetologist Honoured With Special Presentation

Media Release
Friday 27 February

Distinguished Diabetologist Honoured With Special Presentation

In honour of his tireless work and ongoing campaign to develop the understanding and treatment of diabetes in New Zealand, Diabetes Christchurch organized a special ‘This is Your Life’ type presentation to Professor Don Beaven CBE, at the Christchurch Casino last night.

Presented by Bob Parker, the evening was notable for the number of international experts and members of the New Zealand Medical and Academic fraternities who came to honour Professor Beaven, aged 78. Many members of his family were also present to celebrate his achievements.

As the evening’s presentation was a complete surprise to Professor Beaven, the event was organised around a lecture series being held today at the Christchurch School of Medicine.

International experts include Professor Paul Zimmet who established Australia’s first Diabetes Institute; Professor Philip Home, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at Freeman Hospital and who has assisted in diabetes care in a number of developing countries and Dr Warren Lee who is the consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist of KK Hospital, in Singapore and a member of Parliament.

“Don has been a major contributor to both the professional and consumer diabetes movements in New Zealand” said Russell Finnerty, President, Diabetes New Zealand. “If we did not have a Don Beaven we would have had to invent one”.

Professor Beaven has been awarded with many honours and awards including a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1988 for his services to medicine. He is highly respected within the health industry and has pioneered many of the developments in diabetes care in New Zealand.

“His national and international influence has extended beyond diabetes and improving treatments for individuals to the public health approaches motivating improvements in nutrition and physical activity. These have influenced and contributed to present strategies for healthy eating and healthy action, which my Ministry has contributed to developing with the wider sector” said Dr Karen O Poutasi, Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health.

Professor Beaven’s interests extend well beyond his profession. He is respected expert on wine and was for many years a senior judge at the New Zealand Wine competitions. He is a member of the Olive Society and has promoted the growth and virtues of Olive oil, and has a reputation as an excellent Mediterranean cook. He is an authority on Greek and Roman history, an alpinist and an active member of the Skeptics Society.


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