Director and Chairman

David Garvey

Located: Victoria
Day job: Managing Director

History with Eating Disorders

[Coming soon]

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

[Coming soon]

Director

David Quilty

Located: Canberra

History with Eating Disorders

[Coming soon]

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

[Coming soon]

Director

Gordon Brockway

Located: Western Australia
Day job: Management Consultant

History with Eating Disorders

Daughter has Anorexia Nervosa. Diagnosed at age 17, probably had it since much younger. While weight restored at age 19 using Family Based Treatment over 18-month period, relapsed soon after. Continual decline since. Now 24, refusing to engage in structured treatment program.

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

Experienced the isolation and constant doubt before we discovered FEAST. Wife and I became much more able to provide effective support to daughter once FEAST was part of our lives.  Want to help other families avoid the delays to recovery we experienced because of our own ignorance and the ignorance of others. By contributing my professional skills, I hope to assist EDFA in this way.

Director

Christine Naismith

Located: Victoria
Day job: Pharmacist

History with Eating Disorders

Eldest Daughter suffered Anorexia Nervosa at age 16-17 in 2012/13.  Drastic weight loss over a short period of time, very unwell & suicidal quite quickly.  Fortunate to be referred to the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital early on, where we were part of an FBT trial. We were part of the Parent Focused Treatment (PFT) stream & were successful in refeeding our girl to full recovery.  My other Daughter, now 14 (2017), currently has Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) which is proving very challenging.

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

FBT was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it worked & we were fortunate to get help early & take action quickly.  While it was a harrowing journey, full of fear, worry, exhaustion & anger, I feel very fortunate that we were able to help set our Daughter free from Anorexia Nervosa & want to give back to help other parents through this scary experience. I also want to bring more awareness to the community about Eating Disorders, so they are not hidden away, but brought to the surface so that help can be sought quickly, which gives the best chance of bringing about recovery. It is such a frightening & isolating time as a carer, so I am passionate about peer support & letting parents know that they are not alone in this awful battle.

Director

Violeta Bozinovski

Located: Victoria
Day job: IT Program Manager

History with Eating Disorders

I have a 16 year old daughter with Anorexia Nervosa. She is a fraternal twin. She was diagnosed ‘by accident’ at age 14 after having desperately tried to get help for her drastic weight loss and resistance to eating. We joined the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) program for treating eating disorders and were part of the FBT trials. Although we were FBT ‘stars’, which meant our daughter was quite compliant and gained weight quickly, she has since had relapses and has continued with outpatient treatment. Anorexia has impacted the whole family, our other children, our lifestyle and activities. It has isolated us from the world we knew before our daughter became ill.

Eating disorder treatment is the toughest thing I, and my family, have had to endure. During the FBT trials treatment at the RCH we were fortunate enough to be part of a 6 week parent support group program where we met people in the same situation as us, who felt guilt, terror and fear just as we did. The ability to understand, vent, cry, listen, support and care for each other over the 6 weeks forged a strong bond between us. We were all distraught when the 6 weeks were over and were left isolated again.

Since the time my daughter has been weight restored I have undertaken the following activities:

  • Involved as a parent/carer member of the CEED Early Intervention project which developed the Feed Your Instinct online tool for carers (feedyourinstinct.com.au)
  • Along with Christine Naismith, run a local monthly parent/carer support group

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

Whilst meeting with other parents/carers and trying to navigate eating disorder treatment outside of the hospital it became evident that there is a severe lack of family support. There is no respite, no home visits, no case mangers. I do not want one more family to go through what we, and others, have gone through to get diagnosis, quality treatment and support for their loved ones. I want to ensure eating disorders are no longer a mystery in our society and that families feel connected, supported and empowered to know how to identify and best treat these horrific illnesses.

Director and Secretary

Tim Lethbridge

Located: Western Australia
Day job: Lawyer

History with Eating Disorders

My wife (now 40) has battled anorexia since her teens.  In the 13 years we have been together, she has tried a variety of treatments, some which have involved me and some which have not, including inpatient admissions and outpatient programs, with varying degrees of success.  With the help of a very supportive clinical team, she has turned a corner in the last few years and has managed to maintain a healthy weight, although it remains a daily struggle.

Why part of Eating Disorders Families Australia (EDFA)

The role of carer for a person with an eating disorder can be a confusing and frustrating one, trying to grapple with a seemingly inexplicable condition that is personal to the sufferer yet directly affects everyone around them.  To the extent that there is help available for carers, it is mostly produced by and for parents of children with eating disorders, where the dynamic of the relationship is considerably different to that of other relationships.  I am keen to bring a different perspective to EDFA, to ensure that partners, siblings and friends of sufferers also have relevant information and support.

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