Ray Kelly is a proud Gomeroi man and one of Australia’s leading health professionals, with over 31 years’ experience in the health and sports industries. He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and with a Master of Teaching (PDHPE) and a Bachelor of Research where he focused on the reversal of type 2 diabetes in the Indigenous community. He is currently completing his Doctor of Philosophy in Analysis of the factors contributing to successful reversal of T2DM through lifestyle change by Indigenous people in Australia.
Within the fitness industry, Ray has had a great deal of success in the area of weight loss. He was employed as a trainer in the first 2 seasons of The Biggest Loser Australia, where he was given 1 contestant each year. He achieved a perfect record with both contestants winning the competition in consecutive years. He has also written 2 books on weight loss, titled “Winners Do What Losers Don’t” (New Holland, 2008), and “Full Plate, Less Weight” (New Holland, 2014). He has also had input into many publications.
Mr Kelly is award winning Exercise Physiologist, more recently winning the ESSA Exercise Physiologist of the Year (2019). He holds numerous advisory positions and teaching positions including as an ESSA NSW Indigenous Projects Officer (2018-Current), member of the Advisory Group – Diabetes and Endocrine Network (Agency for Clinical Innovation), Lecturer at University of Technology, Sydney (Indigenous Health and Wellbeing (2020) and as a guest Lecturers at University of NSW (2020-2021) (Chronic Disease in Indigenous Communities)).
Research Translation and Impact
Across his career, Ray has made significant impact translating research into community programs. These include:
Rapid Loss Program
In 2009 Ray Kelly formulated a meal replacement shake and lifestyle program that would become one of the largest programs in Australia. Rapid Loss was designed as a meal replacement shake for those who wanted to reduce caloric intake dramatically or could be had as a snack between meals for those who wanted to learn how to lose weight with a focus on consuming fresh, unprocessed foods. The shakes were sold in all major outlets (Coles, Woolworths, pharmacy chains, etc) and the program was provided online. The format had the participants working with their GP to provide safe, long term support. Online and phone support were also provided for the participants, with over 30,000 joining the program each year.
Arnott’s Biscuit Factory
Ray Kelly provided a chronic disease program at the Arnott’s biscuit factory in Western Sydney for their day, afternoon and night shifts. Across the program, 53 participants lost a total of 643kg in 10 weeks. At 6 months follow up, the average weight had only increased by 0.6kg. The results were presented at the European Congress on Obesity (Gothenburg, 2016) and the International Congress on Obesity (Vancouver, 2016).
Ray Kelly provided an online 12-week chronic disease program for 100 fans of the GWS Giants AFL club. In total the participants lost 1,612kg. Participants were from Western Sydney and had been previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or hypertension.
Too Deadly for Diabetes is a lifestyle program provided primarily through Aboriginal medical services in rural and remote NSW. Ray Kelly engages with the local Indigenous community and health care providers to identify obstacles and design strategies. This have proven effective with each location witnessing a major improvement in clinical outcomes. An independent study was completed on the program in Western Sydney where participants achieved an average weight loss of 7.5kg and a reduction in HbA1c of 1.7%.
In particular, the Too Deadly for Diabetes program is provided in many areas where the management of type 2 diabetes is often poor. This leads to an increasing number of patients suffering from complications with their feet, kidneys, eyes and cardiovascular system. As participants often improve their food intake, increase physical activity and reduce HbA1c, the previous issues around the co-morbidities are significantly reduced.
In Ray’s experience, Indigenous communities have unique obstacles to health. By guiding discussions, Ray assists local health staff and community in identifying obstacles and then designing localised strategies. This has led to programs which have resulted in substantial improvements in HbA1c and reductions in medication use within short periods of time.
Engaging with end-users and consumers is an integral part of Ray Kelly’s work and his reputation with this has enabled him to gain the immediate trust of Indigenous communities as the community engagement process at a new location begins. Due to media outlets and past participants sharing stories, Ray Kelly has the trust and respect of Indigenous communities and this provides the foundation for discussions about the research portfolio.
Currently, Ray Kelly provides research-based training and education to GPs, nurses, and other health professionals working in primary care. He then provides support as they embed these changes within their current treatments. This had led to decreases in blood pressure, HbA1c and the co-morbidities associated with these conditions. Often, patients also see a reduction in medications.
If you would like to see the results from our primary program, 'Too Deadly For Diabetes' visit www.TooDeadlyForDiabetes.com.au