Credentialled Diabetes Education delivered differently

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia

It is estimated that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day and that means 1 person in every 5 people are being advised that they have diabetes. Approximately 1.8 million Australians have diabetes and for every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually one other beside them, who has diabetes and does not even realise!

Get In Touch

PO BOX 14125

Mt Sheridan, QLD 4868

Call Us

0410 530 247

Email Us


Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDE’s) are health care professionals who specialise in treating, supporting, and educating people living with diabetes, often along with their families and the health care team.

What Services Do We Offer?

Diabetes education is an area of specialty that focuses on precise interventions for each individual who is in need of diabetes management and care. Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDEs) have been recognised by Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Work Cover, and private medical insurers as the appropriately qualified providers of diabetes education.

Diabetes education allows people living with diabetes to gain knowledge, skills, motivation, and confidence to effectively manage their own condition. 
CDE’s assist people with diabetes and their family or carers to gain an understanding of the “big picture” and link up the benefits of positive lifestyle choices and treatment options. They interact with the person living with diabetes and other members of the Allied Health Care Team to achieve mutually agreed clinical targets, improved health, and wellbeing outcomes.

Diabetes education will support you to:

  • Adapt lifestyle
  • Explore treatment and management options
  • Transition from oral therapy to insulin therapy if required
  • Understand how your medications work and why they are so important
  • Teach you self-monitoring of blood glucose and how to interpret and apply the results to improve your diabetes management
  • Assist in preventing and managing acute and chronic diabetes complications
  • Fertility preparation
  • Assist in hypo and hyperglycaemia management (spelling edited here)
  • Guide you in sick day management
  • Understand travel and Diabetes
  • Reconcile the demands of diabetes with the demands of employment, family, social responsibilities and community involvement

Help you to be in control of YOUR Diabetes.

10 Reasons To Visit Us At O’Brien Healthcare


University trained Registered Nurse & Credentialled Diabetes Educator, who understand your medical conditions and works closely with your doctor.


You will receive high quality care at every consultation & we pride ourselves on providing you with the latest evidence-based information to assist you with meeting your goals.


You have the guarantee of seeing the same specialised medical professional at each appointment, to answer your questions and guide your steps forward.


All services are provided at your chosen location, at a time that suits you.

Caring Support

We understand & we care. Conquering the challenges of Diabetes and achieving your goals is easier, when you have a health professional who stands beside you and cares.


We don’t offer a “one size fits all” approach, as every single person is very different, and so the level of support and service is individualised to meet specific needs.


Passion, dedicated & driven only begin to describe the Managing Director of O’Brien Healthcare and what she supplies.


What we do in private, is exactly what we do in public. Honesty and wholesome principles guide our business steps.

Proven Success

With efficient and timely interaction, our advice is easy to adhere to and makes you an expert in your own care. Thousands of clients can testify to this.


We strive to align our actions with our core values and beliefs, to supply a standard of excellence in care. Our heart is treat others how we would like to be treated.


With the impact of the pandemic, it has become essential to alter the way care is supplied and that’s why O’Brien Healthcare now offer phone consultations to suitable clients. No need to travel, find a parking space, arrange accommodation, or cause any family member an inconvenience. All services are delivered in the comfort of your own home or office.

Types of Diabetes


Pre-diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, however not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes has no signs or symptoms, but it will place people in a higher risk bracket for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular (heart and circulation) disease. Two million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at high-risk of later attaining type 2 Diabetes.

It’s important to start altering your lifestyle immediately if you have been advised of having pre-diabetes. This must include changes to diet, reducing carbohydrates, increasing activity (if able) and losing weight. It is estimated that almost one in three people with pre-diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors

Risk factors for pre-diabetes are:

  • Being overweight – especially those who have excess weight around the waistline (ie: more than 94cm for men and more than 80cm for women)
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having high triglycerides and low HDL-C (good cholesterol) and/or high total cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease
Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system is prompted to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. The cause of this autoimmune reaction is unknown, but we do know that Type 1 diabetes is not linked to lifestyle factors. There is no cure at this stage, and it cannot be prevented.

Type 1 diabetes:

  • Occurs where there is no insulin produced by the pancreas
  • Represents around 10 per cent of all cases of diabetes and is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases
  • It usually comes on suddenly and by surprise
  • Is only managed via multiple daily insulin injections (or via a pump)


  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps.
Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is blocking the normal effects of insulin and the body gradually loses its capacity to produce enough insulin. The condition is impacted by strong genetic and family-related (non-modifiable) risk factors and is also often linked to things in life you can change (lifestyle factors like diet exercise and stress).
The exact genetic causes of type 2 diabetes are not known; but with the right education, support, and guidance the condition can be delayed or even prevented. With informed changes to diet and increasing the amount of physical activity a lot can be influenced.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Is diagnosed when the pancreas reduces its insulin supply (reduced insulin production) and/or the insulin stops working effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as they used to (known as insulin resistance)
  • Represents 85–90 percent of all cases of diabetes
  • Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is increasingly occurring in youth including children, adolescents, and young adults
  • Occurs often in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or from particular cultural backgrounds
  • For some, the first sign may be a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision disturbance or a foot ulcer
  • Is managed with a combination of exercise, diet and most importantly weight loss. As type 2 diabetes can change in time, many people will need oral tablets and/or insulin injections on top of lifestyle modifications over time


There are many people who report no symptoms of diabetes, as symptoms have crept up gradually over time and go unnoticed. As Type 2 Diabetes is often linked to aging, people commonly dismiss their symptoms in the thought that “maybe this is a part of getting older”. In some situations, by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by the GP, the complications of diabetes may already be present.

Symptoms include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually putting on weight
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps


In Australia there are seven classes of oral medicines used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Oral medications:

  1. Biguanides
  2. Sulphonylureas
  3. Thiazolidinediones (Glitazones)
  4. Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors
  5. Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors
  6. Incretin mimetics
  7. Sodium-glucose transporter (SGLT2) inhibitors

Oral medications often need to be adjusted or reviewed and after many years on these agents some people require insulin therapy. The CDE and your GP work together in assessing when and if this will be required.

Insulin therapy:
There are five different groups of insulin available in Australia ranging from fast acting to short acting, to mixed insulin, to intermediate or long acting. Insulin type is assessed based on the individuals needs and we aim to tailor insulin to fit into YOUR lifestyle. “Insulin starts” can be personalised and Shireen works with each client to ensure they feel safe, confident, and supported to step into their new treatment plan.

Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) will work out with you what type of insulin is right for you.

O’Brien Healthcare provide exceptional client focussed services, with a motivation to provide quality & continuity at every level.

The Story

In 2005 Shireen O’Brien, together with her husband Stephen realised they shared a vision to establish an exceptional private diabetes education service, in a niche market.

Shireen whilst a Registered Nurse since 1997, completed a post graduate degree in Diabetes Education at Curtin University in 2006. She then went on to launch her very own full time “mobile diabetes education” service, to Cairns and the far north region.

The mobile diabetes education service had no government support or funding, and Shireen would travel up to and over 1000km per week; to see clients in the comfort of their own home, while she also visited every single GP in Cairns to introduce herself. Shireen’s passion to succeed was her point of difference.

Subsequently Shireen was recognised throughout the Far North Queensland for her excellent service and later grew to share a small office on Mulgrave Road, under the name of O’Brien Healthcare. There she stayed for over a year.

At the end of 2010 O’Brien Healthcare further developed and Shireen was blessed with an opportunity to open her very own practice at Suite 3 /320 Sheridan Street Cairns QLD.

Shireen was passionate about providing quality and continuity of care to both newly diagnosed and pre-existing people living with diabetes and her results have spoken for themselves.

Within a short time, O’Brien Healthcare grew into a holistic healthcare team; with the expertise of an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Endocrinologist, and a Credentialled Mental Health Nurse; all of which made for a great team.

Given O’Brien Healthcare had no funding of any sort, it was only through the support of local GPs; along with Shireen’s sheer passion and dedication that this business grew and flourished. They have now paved the way for future business models in diabetes education and hope to see a standard of excellence in client centered care.

With thousands of clients taking control of their diabetes and many reversing their diagnosis, Shireen’s reputation grew, and many clients would fly from overseas and interstate to engage with her.

After many years of success, and endless hours spent serving the community, Shireen (with the support of her husband) decided to downsize the business. In late December 2019 they moved out from the Sheridan St premises, and this was within weeks of the Pandemic hitting Australia.

O’Brien Healthcare now consult via private arrangements only and Shireen cares for several Indigenous communities in the far north of Queensland. As a company, the O’Brien’s are grateful for the support of the local community and the many Doctors who believed in Shireen’s vision to supply a “standard of excellence” in care.

Inform the Licensing Authorities

If you develop diabetes, it’s vitally important that you advise the Driver Licensing Authorities in your state or territory. In most cases if you treat your diabetes with insulin, you will require a medical certificate every two years and if you manage it via oral therapy every five years. If you manage your diabetes with diet and exercise alone, you are still required to advise them. If you are required to notify the authorities and choose not to, you could be charged with driving offences if you have a driving accident.

Medical standards for licensing
Medical requirements for unconditional and conditional licenses are outlined here.

Diabetes treated by glucose – lowering agents other than insulin for private drivers
Private vehicle drivers treated by glucose – lowering agents other than insulin may generally drive without license restriction (i.e. on an unconditional license) but should be required by the driver licensing authority to have five – yearly reviews.


Executive Diabetes Education Package

If you want service and treatment that is personalised, proactive and delivered at a time that suits you, in an environment that makes you feel empowered; then the Executive Diabetes Education Package is for you.

This is a PREMIUM service, with a PREMIUM price tag; delivered as a package that encompasses everything and will have you walking out realising your full potential and your ability to take control.

There is only one of you so consider investing in your health..

The Executive Diabetes Education package is a premium service and is for the person who does NOT want to wait on a long waiting list to be seen, who does NOT want to factor in multiple appointments, who does NOT want to travel, who does NOT want to be seen in certain waiting rooms and certainly does NOT want to wait for Diabetes to take control of their life!

This package is thorough, comprehensive, and delivered in a “one on one” capacity (loved ones are also able to be involved) over a half day or full day service. All care is supplied at your chosen venue, state, and time (or even country) and for many there is an ability to be seen within 48 hrs of making contact!

This premium Executive Diabetes Education Package is a direct and concise professional service when and where you need it most. It is designed to grow your understanding of diabetes exponentially and enable you to feel in control.

Example: 41-year-old “James” flew in from Japan to see Shireen via the Executive Education package and later said “Wow, I feel so empowered. So knowledgeable and so able to run with this newfound information tailored to me. I now believe I can do this. Thank you so much Shireen”.

If you are “time poor” and want quality, continuity and all the facts given to you in one or two consultations, then this service is for you.

The Executive Diabetes Education package is tailored to meet individual requirements and fees are outlined following a complimentary personalised phone assessment carried out by CDE Shireen O’Brien.

Shireen says, “I will only take on your care if I know I can make a difference in your quality of life”.

Depending on your situation and needs, packages can be tailored and will vary in time. You will then be offered follow up care, depending on your personal needs.


  • The passionate expertise of Shireen O’Brien (with over 15 years clinical experience)
  • No need to travel, park or stay overnight to access care
  • All relevant Diabetes Education delivered in a way YOU can comprehend
  • Printed educational material to support the topics covered
  • Reduce stress linked to accessing accurate health information
  • Information on your medication options
  • Increased awareness of treatment options
  • Support to understand your numbers
  • Blood glucose diary, meter and any other item of support needed to gain control
  • Explanation of your most recent pathology
  • An understanding on what pathology ranges to aim for and how to reach those goals
  • Overview education on lifestyle options
  • Increased self-motivation
  • Care delivered in your chosen location
  • A service that will inspire, engage, and empower

With the Executive Diabetes Education package, you will have it all and you will be astounded at how much can change for you, after seeing Shireen. No referral required, just recent pathology (including hBa1c, glucose, cholesterol, Egfr, ACR, Vit D, Vit B12 ect) and a positive attitude.

Invest in Yourself – you are worth it!!

Book Now

Executive Diabetes Education Package


Supplied Australia wide (fly in fly out)


Fee supplied upon assessment

Register NOW for online empowerment!

Since Covid changed our world, it’s clear that quality education needs to be delivered differently.

People need to be able to access professional advice and guidance with the least risk to their personal health, optimal convenience and with minimal associated costs of travel.

Given there is a limited supply of Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDE’s) in Australia and even less with clinical experience, Shireen wants to share her expert knowledge to those far and wide. Saying, “why should those living in regional and remote areas miss out on my care and support”.

With her proof of success in diabetes education now being in the 000’s of clients; Shireen will inspire, engage, and empower those living with Type 2 Diabetes, through the ‘Zero to Hero’ Diabetes Education Program.

This LIVE, INTERACTIVE, ONLINE diabetes ZOOM education program, is delivered directly to the client with no need for a referral.

Essentially clients will have access to learning how to gain control of their diabetes or even reverse their diabetes, with the expert and personalised help of Shireen O’Brien. Access to information will be made easy and client’s will learn how to gain control or even reverse their Type 2 Diabetes.





  • Education & support delivered in the comfort of your home or office
  • No need to travel, park or stay overnight to access care
  • Interactive and informative content
  • Ability to ask questions in a supportive group environment
  • Ability to access information no matter what is going on in the world
  • Greater flexibility in scheduling work
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Reduce stress linked to accessing accurate health information
  • Ability to take part, with no pressure to answer questions
  • Accessible personalised guidance from a health professional with exponential experience
  • Increased self-motivation
  • And you will have more time to do the things you love while still learning

Session Outline:

The ‘Zero to Hero’ Diabetes Education Zoom program, has an upfront payment from all participants who attend the course of $2,110 per person.

There will be four sessions in total and all participants will receive educational material via email, throughout the program.

  • Session 1 – What is Diabetes (Blood glucose testing, do I need to test, what should my BGL be, when should I test my BGL, Hypoglycemia, meter care, what does my pathology mean, HBa1c, what blood results do I aim for/how often, how do I get control of my diabetes or even reverse it).
  • Session 2 – How do my medications work (what medication options do I have, what are the side effects, will I need insulin, Insulin management, sick day guidelines, what questions could I ask my GP or other health professional).
  • Session 3 – Lifestyle & Diabetes (exercise, smoking, alcohol and diabetes, dental care, diet and weight loss, travel, diabetes, and driving).
  • Session 4 – Complication prevention (linking up the big picture, stage of readiness to change, Medical Alert jewelry, Sleep Study, support services in Australia).
  • Additionally:
    – Helpful PDF educational sheets emailed to each participant
    – Ability to ask Shireen questions via an initial phone meeting/email contact

‘Zero to Hero’ Diabetes Education Program – Starts February 2023

‘Zero to Hero’ 4 session Zoom Program Package
4 sessions at 1 hour each with online ability to interact
No Referral needed


Diabetes Subscription Service

A service designed for junior GP’s or those working with minimal Diabetes support.

This subscription service offers 12 months of Diabetes phone support at your fingertips, with guidance and case discussion for those difficult cases. Shireen will care and assist GP’s with advice on insulin starts, medication titration and anything Diabetes related. The ideal subscription for a new GP or those working in remote areas. With a one off annual fee, this service provides piece of mind and works out at being a great tax deduction!

LIMITED POSITIONS AVAILABLE with all contact held as confidential.

Diabetes Subscription Service

GP Subscription Service

Claimable as professional development services

$69 per week


Initial Consultation $368
Insulin Start $910
Professional Group Education to Organisations Price on request

0410 530 247

PO BOX 14125, Mt Sheridan QLD 4868