Follow the footsteps of… Carrun Squires, our newest 10,000 Toes Ambassador in Australia

Following the footsteps of AustraliaWe are so happy to welcome you to our family ♥

“I have been leading teams of health and medical volunteers in the South Pacific since 2017 conducting health screenings for non-communicable diseases, specifically type 2 diabetes.

I attended the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Cairns in 2022 and was introduced to Pamela Townend as a passionate campaigner in improving the health and well-being of the people of the South Pacific. When I met Pam I knew I had met a like-minded soul straight away.

I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved with 10,000 Toes! I visited their website, learnt about becoming an Ambassador and enrolled straight away. I was inspired by their holistic and comprehensive approach to stamping out type 2 diabetes in the South Pacific. I love that they train local Ambassadors in each country to support and monitor the local villagers. It’s a proactive approach that increases self-efficacy and improves health outcomes.

I have a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy), a Master of Human Nutrition and a Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education (both at Deakin University). I am an internationally Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional, a Fellow of The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and a full member of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

I have worked in private practice since graduating in 2006, in various multi-modality clinics in Melbourne whilst running my practice for ten years in the high country of Victoria.

Most Naturopaths start practice as generalists, as did I, but it was clients presenting with cardio-metabolic health issues such as insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes that I found most interesting and now niche only in that area. I’m always inspired by the work of 10,000 Toes.

When I was in Fiji, I saw Dr George Kwong at his office in Nadi and learnt about their important initiatives including training more Ambassadors, the Wellness Hubs, the Wellbeing Centre and the Bitu Juice Bar.

I also travelled to Suva to meet with Dr Akuila Tabuavou. We met at the ASLM (Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine) Conference in Cairns. Dr Tabuavou discussed with me the training of Ambassadors in the more remote areas and how they hope to incorporate Wellbeing Hubs into the local communities. It was truly heart-warming to see such compassion and commitment to improving the health of all Fijians.

I attended the Samoa Summit last year and gave a presentation on behavioural change. This was such a wonderful opportunity. It was a chance to see and hear first-hand the challenges faced by Ambassadors in trying to support their fellow Samoans’ health concerns for type 2 diabetes. The challenges are diverse, for example, geographical location and access, financial, political, mental and emotional health, food security, dietary confusion and lack of health resources. The determination of the local Ambassadors to help their people despite these challenges was awe-inspiring.

The highlight of the Summit for me was hearing their stories of traversing jungle and high seas to bring support to their people, sometimes putting their own lives on the line. I felt so proud of them yet I didn’t even know them. I guess we’re all united in the one cause to stamp out type 2 diabetes.

Whilst the momentum is strong and positive outcomes are being achieved, there is still so much to be done as the scourge of type 2 diabetes continues to rise. 10,000 Toes is at the forefront of saving life and limb across the South Pacific and I am so grateful to be an Ambassador and be involved with such important work.

I recently had the opportunity to be the Keynote Speaker at the Australian Traditional Medicine Society’s Gala Awards evening in Sydney. I presented the challenges faced by the people of the South Pacific fighting type 2 diabetes, how I found purpose in helping and how I will continue to spread the message of health and hope.”

Did you know that every 20 minutes an amputation occurs in the South Pacific due to diabetes or an associated lifestyle disease?

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