Well-deserved retirement for diabetes trailblazer

Internationally renowned diabetes researcher and educator Professor Trisha Dunning AM has retired after more than 50 years' service to the discipline of nursing.

Written by Judy Baulch

Professor Trisha Dunning AM, from the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS) in Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation and School of Nursing and Midwifery, retired this month after more than 50 years’ service to the discipline of nursing. More than 30 of those years focused on her internationally renowned work in diabetes education and research, including palliative and end of life care for older people with diabetes and the safe, evidence-based use of complementary therapies.

As the inaugural Chair in Nursing in the Deakin/Barwon Health partnership, Professor Dunning was instrumental in establishing the Deakin/Barwon Health nursing research program. She was a foundation member of QPS and Director of the QPS Research Centre at Deakin/Barwon Health. Professor Dunning also Chaired Deakin’s Faculty of Health Human Ethics Advisory Group and was a member of Deakin’s Human Research Ethics Committee. 

Professor Dunning remains a board member of Diabetes Victoria, serves on a subcommittee of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and was Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation. In 2004, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her contributions to diabetes and to nursing, and in 2014 she was admitted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her exceptional work towards improving the lives of people with diabetes. In 2020, she received the Federation of European Nurses in Diabetes 25th Anniversary Recognition Award and was honoured with a scholarship in her name from Diabetes Victoria.

“Trisha played a critical role in establishing and growing the nursing research program in Barwon Health and Deakin and has been pivotal in providing clinical and research leadership, including research supervision and consultation to both Barwon Health clinicians and Deakin academics,” said Professor Nikki Phillips, Head of Deakin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.

“Her research has addressed key health priorities and global health issues, including the beliefs and attitudes of people with diabetes, their families, and health professionals on diabetes self-care and health outcomes, and the nursing management of people with diabetes across the care continuum.

“We thank Trisha for her significant contributions and influence on the nursing profession and everyone wishes her the very best for her retirement.”

Find out more about Professor Dunning’s work:

Springer Nature blog: Nurses make the difference

Australian College of Nursing: COVID-19 – Positivity in a time of a pandemic

Barwon Health Facebook: Professor Trisha Dunning AM – World Diabetes Day Professorial Lecture 2019

YouTube: Professor Trisha Dunning – Communication key to diabetes education