According to a Diabetes Australia report in 2005, Australia had an estimated 1.2 million diabetics, although some reports put the figure at a lower level.
Recent research conducted in Australia estimates that half of all Australian diabetics do not know that they have the condition.
Diabetes levels in Australia have doubled since the early 1980s.
Diabetes, combined with the associated complications that can develop when the disease is present for some time (including neuropathy, heart disease and kidney disease) contribute to an annual healthcare bill for diabetes in Australia that is estimated to be above $1 billion and climbing fast.
Amongst the Aboriginal population, the situation is even more serious.