For five years, Dr Martin de Bock has called Perth home. Now, it is time for him to return to his birthplace — the green pastures of Auckland, New Zealand.
Before he departs our shores, we asked him a few questions about his time in Western Australia.
Job title? Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist
What drew you to Perth? To work with an internationally recognised team in diabetes, and to pursue my interest in diabetes technologies, particularly artificial pancreas systems.
Areas of expertise? Adolescents, diabetes technologies, and eating biscuits.
Why diabetes? Recognition that diabetes can affect young people in so many ways. We are in a privileged position of watching young people mature and come to terms with diabetes, and be able to offer help and guidance where we can, while recognising that diabetes is just a small part of their whole lives. If we can do anything to reduce the burden, to allow young people to reach their goals and potential, to help them feel as normal as possible, that is what drives me.
Most memorable part of the job? So many! Playing board games for hours with research participants. Making lifelong friends at work. Seeing some teenagers have their diabetes epiphany and turning their lives around. Sunny days in Esperance, chocolate truffles in Bunbury. Just having a laugh with colleagues and the families I have gotten to know. I’ve had a few letters over the years from teenagers who have transitioned or their families that are highly treasured (see example below).
What you will miss most? Biking to work into a hot easterly that feels like riding into a hair dryer. Being a hunter gatherer in the research department. An incredibly supportive department that strives for excellence. But most of all, the endless and huge blue sky that sees over us here in Perth, which I’ll be swapping for mountains, clear rivers, and snow.