David Garvey


“My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa at the age of 14. It was a terribly traumatic time for my daughter and our young family.  My daughter is now 20 years old and she is still on her journey to recovery.  My wife and I also have three younger children and the impact of Anorexia on our oldest daughter, our other children, my wife and me has been significant.”

“For a long time I was in denial of this terrible illness that had taken over my oldest daughter’s life.  My wife in particular has done an amazing job of trying to educate us and understand Anorexia Nervosa.  There was a certain point early on, where I could no longer deny what was happening to our daughter, and the trauma that our young family was going through.  Initially, for our family, it was a very lonely journey.  

We did not understand the health system and how to navigate our way around mental health. The early years in particular were a very difficult time in our lives.”

As the Chair of EDFA, David Garvey’s role is to support the Board and volunteers in running the programs provided, and to make a difference to the lives of parents & carers who desperately seek the help and support of EDFA.    

“At EDFA, our focus is to support and educate families and carers of a loved one who is suffering with an eating disorder. 

“I have first-hand experience, and I understand the shock and trauma of caring for a loved one for an eating disorder.  The impact of an eating disorder on the sufferer and their loved ones is profound.  Understandably, our health system is very focussed  on supporting the health of a sufferer.  However, there is also a real need in our community to support the parents / carers of a loved one with an eating disorder.  Parents / carers are an integral part of the team required to support an eating disorder sufferer on the journey to recovery. “ 

As well as being chair for EDFA, David Garvey’s day job is Managing Partner (Melbourne) for BDO.  He has a naturally positive mindset, and loves to spend time with his family.  

“My job is helping people and problem solving, it gives me great satisfaction knowing that I play a small part in helping other families care for a loved one with an eating disorder. It can be very lonely. 

If there were more hours in the day David would like to play golf and tennis. He enjoys good food and spending time with his family.

David’s top tips 

Never give up and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  

ED book recommendations: 

Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders, by Jennifer L. Gaudiani, US: CRC Press Inc. 2018. 

Become a member of EDFA for $25 per year (Australian Carers Only)

EDFA is a proud not-for-profit, predominantly volunteer-run organisation. 

We invite you to be part of a revolutionary peer support group making positive changes in the eating disorder space. Strength in numbers means we are able to affect change and have the collective voice of the carers recognised.

We provide opportunities to connect with other parents and carers who share your experiences, helping you to feel less alone and isolated.

Yearly membership is just $25.

Membership gives access to:

A range of resources in our Member Only section of the website including Educational Recordings, Member Recommended Clinicians and Services, and more.

Over 70 support groups and education sessions per year. including:

Twice monthly education sessions

strive Carer Support Groups for carers of loved ones with any type of eating disorder (run three times each month)

strive ARFID Carer Support Group (run monthly)

strive bulimia nervosa Carer Support Group (run quarterly)

strive binge eating disorder Carer Support Group (run quarterly) 

strive4Men Carer Support Group (run quarterly) – a group for male carers 

siblings Support Group (run monthly) – a group for siblings of those with an eating disorder

daily online support through our private strive Australia Facebook Group and the opportunity to connect, share, learn and ask questions is another benefit of being part of our EDFA community.

discounts to eating disorder events and conferences

Your membership helps EDFA with ongoing costs of running a not-for-profit organisation, and importantly, shows Government that families value, need and believe in this type of lived experience support. Strength in numbers helps EDFA lobby as the collective voice of carers for  better services, treatments, access to expert clinicians and specialised eating disorder units, to help our loved ones in their recovery journey and to acknowledge the impact of an eating disorder diagnosis on the entire family unit.

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