New Clinical Director comes on board

Image courtesy of The University of Adelaide

Kidney Health Australia warmly welcomes new Clinical Director, Dr Shilpa Jesudason, who officially comes on board this month. Dr Jesudason will be a great asset to Kidney Health Australia. She is warm and compassionate, an experienced clinician, educator and researcher, with a patient-focussed understanding of the impact of kidney disease on Australians.

Dr Jesudason is a dedicated nephrologist and will be instrumental in our work to save and improve the lives of Australians affected by kidney disease. She will provide strategic advice to the organisation, and engage with patients, carers, and the nephrology community on behalf of our organisation and stakeholders.

Dr Jesudason has been specialising in management of pregnancy-related issues in women with renal disease, including all stages of chronic kidney disease; dialysis and transplant patients; living kidney donors and women with hypertension.

Dr Jesudason is based in Adelaide and will continue her consultancy work in Adelaide renal centres and hospitals, as she also forges a strong path at Kidney Health Australia.

* Image courtesy of The University of Adelaide.

MasterChef cooks up for Kidney Health Australia

Masterchef visits South Melbourne

Kidney Health Australia and South Melbourne Market was featured on an exciting episode of MasterChef this week, as 16 MasterChef contestants cooked up a feast for hundreds of market-goers.

During the filming earlier this year, we opened our Kidney Health Australia headquarters located on Cecil Street, across the road from the markets to the MasterChef production team. MasterChef was so touched by the kidney health cause, that they donated a total of $13,728 to our national kidney charity!

The MasterChef donation was the total of the sales money made by the contestants, who were split into teams of four and given the challenge of making as many street-style dishes as possible.

Kidney Health Australia CEO, Mikaela Stafrace, thanked MasterChef and all the contestants for a great episode and for the donation, which will go to supporting Australians affected by kidney disease.

Ms Stafrace said it was fantastic that such a prominent show like MasterChef had chosen to highlight kidney disease, which affected 1.7 million Australians. “There’s still a gap in understanding within the wider community of the critical role kidneys play in our health, such as filtering toxins out of our blood. When our kidneys shut down, our bodies shut down.”

“It was great fun to have the MasterChef crew on board for the day and we look forward to watching the rest of the MasterChef season. The wonderful fresh produce often used in the show encourages all Australians to cook healthy meals, which benefits our kidney health and overall well-being.”

MasterChef is produced by Endemol Shine Australia for Network Ten—airing 7.30pm AEST, Sunday to Thursday. To view previous episodes, including the South Melbourne Market challenge visit

Thank You for Your Support in 2016

This year at Kidney Health Australia has been a time of change and growth. In 2016 we’ve had an opportunity to view how we can best continue to support Australia’s kidney community, as well as advocate and educate the community and all Australians.

You’ll hear more over the next few months about an exciting new initiative, in which we will invite you, our kidney community, to provide direct feedback to us.

We’ve also been looking at how we can strengthen key events and I’m happy to announce that in 2017,  to align with World Kidney Day, our own Kidney Health Week will be held across 5–11 March; World Kidney Day will be held on 9 March.

Our passion and vision to improve the lives of people affected by kidney disease, to raise awareness, advocate for programs and policies, and support important research, remains stronger than ever. 

Thank you to all the Kidney Health Australia staff and volunteers who have worked so hard this year and to the kidney community for your invaluable support. Our key fundraising and awareness events, such as the Kidney Kar Rally and the Kidney Health Research Walk were great successes in 2016, and a testimony to the absolute commitment of you all.

On behalf of everyone at Kidney Health Australia, I’d like to wish all the very best for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Mikaela Stafrace
Kidney Health Australia

Five steps to good kidney care

kidney health vitamins

What can you eat and drink when you have kidney disease, to stay as healthy as possible? All kidneys need a diet that is low in salt and sugar to be as healthy as possible. As kidney disease progresses, extra diet and fluid restrictions may be needed to keep a person living with kidney disease healthy. Here are some tips on how to take charge of kidney health and nutrition following diagnosis and beyond.

1.      Learn about a healthy diet for you

Working with a dietician is advisable if you need to lose weight, or if your doctor recommends that you need to change your fluid, phosphate, protein or potassium intake. Getting expert advice on what to eat and drink from expert will take a load off your mind and also ensure your individual needs are met. Speak to your doctor about getting a referral to your preferred local dietitian.

2.          Your first appointment with a dietitian

Before your appointment, write down what you eat daily and take the list with you. Take a list of your medications. If someone else normally cooks for you, ask them to go with you. Prepare and ask questions so that you feel confident about what you need to do, and why. Organise regular follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.

3.      Kidney-friendly foods and what to avoid

As your kidney disease progresses, your doctor may recommend you change your intake of protein, phosphate, potassium, sodium/salt and fluids. For example too much salt and fluid may cause high blood pressure, swelling of ankles, feet, hands and puffiness under the eyes, shortness of breath and increased protein in urine.

Foods that have a lot of sodium include seasonings, sauces, canned foods and some frozen foods, processed meats, snack foods, stock mixes and packaged soups and take-away food. Beware of salt substitutes as some contain potassium instead of sodium. You can find kidney-friendly recipes in our resources library.

 4.     Maintaining a healthy weight

Weight loss and weight gain can be major issue when trying to look after yourself and your kidneys. Obesity may cause complications for dialysis causing unsuitability for a kidney transplant. Your dietitian can help you maintain a healthy weight, with kidney vitamin supplements and ways of preparing food that will be palatable, no matter if you feel ill, or expereince a loss of appetite. 

5.     Vitamins, minerals and supplements

Your usual vitamin regime may not be adequate or suitable once you have been diagnosed with kidney disease. Speak to your kidney health team about whether a multivitamin, such as KidneyVital, might be helpful for you.

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I’m a carer for a 74 year old patient with kidney disease, who has been on peritoneal dialysis for over a year now. His kidney specialist recommended Kidney Vital and we have definitely noticed benefits; we would not want to stop taking it. I would definitely recommend this product to other people with kidney disease.

Lynette, NSW

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Formulated by kidney specialists specifically for people living with all stages of kidney disease, KidneyVital contains the correct daily doses of essential vitamins and minerals - and excludes those that can be toxic for kidney patients - in one tablet. KidneyVital can be purchased online, or by calling 1800 454 363.

Kidney Health Australia welcomes new CEO

On behalf of Kidney Health Australia’s Board of Directors, I’m delighted to announce that Ms Mikaela Stafrace will be joining our organisation as Chief Executive Officer next week.

Mikaela has most recently led charity organisation, Melbourne Legacy as CEO, and has previously been a partner in a national law firm and run her own practice specialising in regulatory compliance and risk management. She has also served on a number of boards including Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust, Inner South Community Health Service and the Victorian Veterans Council.

It is this extensive experience and strategic focus, along with Mikaela’s passion to make a difference in the health care charity sector, which makes Mikaela the right person for our CEO role and driving the future vision for Kidney Health Australia.

It is an exciting time of growth and new ventures for the organisation as we review and refine our priorities and strategic direction, in-line with our guiding pillars of education, advocacy, research, and support. These are the foundations upon which Kidney Health Australia has built a rich history, and from which we have served our ‘kidney community’ for over 46 years.  I am confident that the organisation will build upon these key areas and thrive under Mikaela’s new leadership.

The Board, Senior Management Team, and staff of Kidney Health Australia are thrilled to welcome Mikaela into the KHA family. We look forward to successfully working together – along with our ‘kidney community’ – to continue to save and improve the lives of the 1.7 million Australians affected by kidney disease, as well dramatically increase awareness levels amongst the general public about the disease, and important prevention and early detection measures.

Mikaela will officially commence her role with Kidney Health Australia on Monday September 12, 2016.

 David Morgan

Chairman, Kidney Health Australia Board

28th Kidney Kar Rally races over the finish line for kidney kids

2016 Kidney Kar Rally

28th Kidney Kar Rally races over the finish line for kidney kids!

Our famous and much-loved annual Kidney Kar Rally fundraising event has been run and won for another year, raising over half a million dollars for our Kidney Health Kids Programs! Our adventurous teams, in a total of 55 ‘kars’, travelled a huge 4,000kms in just eight days, from Bathurst to Taree, via Dubbo.

A big congratulations to the top three placing teams, Team O'Halloran in 1st place, Learning To Fly in 2nd place and Grimace Too in 3rd place. We also acknowledge our top fundraisers Team Artline, who raised an impressive $54,271, Bathurst Surf Life Saving Club, who raised $40,022 and Xplant, who raised $22,559.

During the Rally, teams passed through the NSW towns of Oberon, Orange, West Wyalong, Dubbo, Narrabri and Tamworth. Kidney Health Australia’s Support team was also in tow, visiting nearby schools, renal units, and Aboriginal Medical Services along the Rally route to present kidney health education sessions to students and health professionals.

The Kidney Kar Rally is our major fundraising event of the year and without it, our support programs for kidney kids wouldn’t be possible. Thank you to all of our wonderful Rally teams for their phenomenal efforts and completing another successful Rally!

Registrations are already open for next year’s event, so check out the Kidney Kar Rally section of the website to find out more or register your interest in 2017!

Anne Wilson bids farewell as CEO


Anne Wilson Bids Farewell as CEO

To our Kidney Community, who inspires me each and every day, the time has come for me to bid you farewell.

After more than 13 years at the helm of Kidney Health Australia as CEO and Managing Director, I will be leaving the organisation on 27 May, 2016.

Whilst leaving is always tinged with mixed feelings, I am so proud of what we have achieved for Australians affected by kidney disease since I commenced in January, 2003.  Our achievements include:

  • Successfully transitioning the former Australian Kidney Foundation from a confederation of state bodies to one national organisation
  • Instigating and completing re-naming and re-branding of the organisation to ensure appropriate positioning within the national chronic disease landscape
  • Creating a solid financial investment platform including successful commercial ventures for ongoing sustainability
  • Achieving a 5 fold increase in financial turnover to 2015
  • Establishing the organisation as the peak advocacy body on kidney disease in Australia
  • Establishing the Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Kidney Research Foundation

I say 'we' because any leader or CEO is only as good as the people who make up the lifeblood of the organisation, and I am privileged to have spent over a decade leading an incredible team of passionate people, dedicated to the kidney cause and improving the lives of all Australians touched by kidney health issues.

I leave Kidney Health Australia in the knowledge that the organisation is poised to build on our achievements to date and continue to passionately deliver on our vision to 'save and improve the lives of Australians affected by kidney disease'.

In my place, our CFO and Company Secretary Rosanna Care, will act as Interim CEO until my successor is identified. 

Thanks and appreciation are extended to my Board, Senior Management Team, and to all Kidney Health Australia staff for their support and loyalty to me and the organisation.  Importantly I salute you, Australia’s Kidney Community.  I am humbled and honoured to have served you - it has been a privilege.

Anne Wilson

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