A warm hello to all our EDFA members.

EDFA founder Christine Naismith has announced her retirement from EDFA, after dedicating the last six years to supporting families and carers whose loved ones experienced an eating disorder.

Christine has made an invaluable contribution to EDFA and many families and carers across Australia supporting a loved one living with an eating disorder.

On behalf of EDFA, our Board, team members, and our many volunteers, I would like to thank Christine for her unwavering commitment to ensuring recognition of the important role families and carers undertake supporting a loved one with an eating disorder. 

Christine comments “I feel it is time now for me to move to the next stage of my life and I have decided to retire as an EDFA Board director and from my other volunteer roles. 

My dream was to establish a lasting support base for families to come and feel heard, understood and less alone, while learning to become more effective and compassionate carers for their loved ones with eating disorders and gaining confidence to be their strongest advocates. Knowing that this is exactly what EDFA does every day, for so many, means so much to me. 

I am so incredibly proud of what a small group of passionate parents and carers have been able to build, sustain and achieve through EDFA. The lived-experience and knowledge of the strive Australia carer community provides support, understanding, shared learning, connection, and validation to get through one of the most challenging of carer roles.”

Whilst we are sad to see Christine retire, we wish her and her family the best for the future and at EDFA we look forward to continuing our important role as the peak carer organisation supporting families and carers across Australia.

Appointment of Executive Director

We are thrilled to welcome Jane Rowan of Brisbane, Queensland as EDFA’s new Executive Director. As the organisation grows in its membership, programs and advocacy, the Executive Director will develop and promote EDFA’s important role as the peak carer organisation supporting families and carers across Australia. 
Jane brings a wealth of experience to the role and a unique combination of skills in both business and non-profit organisations. Jane will contribute to and execute the strategic direction of EDFA and her expertise in brand management, fundraising campaigns and non-profit governance will enhance the growth of EDFA now and into the future. Jane will also be a powerful voice for carer advocacy and collaboration across the eating disorder sector.

Jane is passionate about EDFA and the support and education it provides to carers. From early intervention to diagnosis and treatment, she understands the challenges families are facing and the importance of providing them with the skills to support their loved one to recovery, while maintaining their own well-being.

“I am excited to have joined the incredible team at EDFA to further strengthen the valuable support provided to families caring for a loved one with an eating disorder,” Jane said. “I will combine my own lived carer experience with my professional skills to advocate for better understanding of the challenges involved and to ensure family members can access the assistance they need.”

We welcome Jane to EDFA and look forward to strengthening the support and education we bring to carers in the future.  

News and Collaborations

ANZAED Conference

EDFA was proud to represent families and carers at the ANZAED eating disorders conference for clinicians in Sydney. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with the many wonderful people working in the eating disorder sector.

We are incredibly appreciative of the work Pressroom Philanthropy has done for EDFA in supporting our organisation and preparing our brochures and materials for the event. They did a wonderful job in promoting EDFA, capturing our lived experience support and education we provide to families and carers impacted by an eating disorder. 

National Carer’s Week

We look forward to celebrating National Carers Week on 16-22 October, recognising the tireless commitment of carers. To our carer community, you are visible, valued and supported. To the wider community, you can help by making carers visible; speak up for carers and tell their stories. Together we are stronger.

Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week

EDFA joined other organisations in celebrating Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW), raising awareness of the importance of early intervention in eating disorder recovery. We campaigned for dispelling eating disorder myths, improving body image and turning the conversation away from body and image-focused discussions. 

You know your young person best. If there’s a sign that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Act now. Early intervention saves lives.

strive Carer Support Program

We are changing the format of our support groups to make it easier for carers to attend. Groups will be shorter, with new start times to cater for our national community. 

The strive Coffee Catchup continues to be very popular, as it provides a more informal way to connect and support each other. We vary the day and time each month, so keep an eye out on the Facebook page.

We encourage anyone who has not yet come along to a support group to “give it a go” because connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be enormously helpful. 

Our strive Facebook group continues to grow with new carers joining from all over Australia every month. If you haven’t joined our private Facebook group, join strive Australia here

You can also access additional resources from the strive Program on our website, including our strive monthly Topic Sheets and member-recommended professional services.

View our calendar for upcoming support groups here.

EDucation Webinars

What a fabulous quarter of EDucation we’ve had! 

Webinar topics we have covered (that are available to view for EDFA members) are:

  • functional and integrative medicine
  • nutritional management for eating disorders
  • interoception
  • art therapy
  • tips for staying connected through the emotional highs of caregiving 
  • the connection between ARFID and Orthorexia Nervosa.

We are grateful to all our professional and/or lived experience speakers who generously give their time, wisdom and expertise to help our community learn more about how we can support our own loved one’s healing and recovery. We highlight many of our past presenters and the services they provide here.

Attending EDFA’s live EDucation webinars gives you the unique opportunity to tap into a wealth of expertise and wisdom by asking any questions of our speakers that you may have during the Q&A session, which follows each presentation.  

Full details of all EDFA’s upcoming education webinars can be accessed here. Please join us live, or check out the library of recordings here!

Nutritional Management for Eating Disorders

Siblings Support Group

If the siblings in your family need extra support living alongside a loved one with an eating disorder, EDFA provides connection and understanding through its Siblings Support Group. 

The group accommodates siblings ages 10 to adult and is allocated into age-appropriate breakout groups. Each session includes an introductory topic of discussion, including support around skills and strategies. Some groups will be ‘special events’ such as art, music, drumming therapy, special guests etc. All groups are advertised within the strive Australia Facebook forum and member mailout.

Siblings Support Group is run by a team of lived experience carers, educators and adult siblings who understand the daily challenges of living with a loved one with an eating disorder. October’s support group is Tuesday, 11th at 7:30pm AEDT.  

Visit here for details of how to access the group and to find upcoming dates via our What’s On Calendar.

Research Round-up

The EDFA Research Committee launched a new project in early 2022 to gain a better understanding of people’s experiences with the strive carer support groups. 

We hope that by evaluating the program and obtaining feedback on people’s personal experience of and satisfaction with the groups, that we will be able to continue improving the program. We also hope that the research findings will help us identify areas that carers require further support. 

The survey has recently closed and focus groups have been conducted. We are now working on the data and hope to be able to present the results to EDFA members in the near future.

TBT-S News

EDFA is hosting a webinar on 19th October tailored for clinicians working in the eating disorder field.

The webinar will outline how Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Radically Open Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (RO-DBT) can be effectively used in conjunction with Temperament Based Therapy with Supports (TBT-S) to improve treatment outcomes for eating disorders.

Carers, please share this information with your care team. Bookings for the webinar can be made here.

For further information about the webinar, please contact Don Irvine

We look forward to welcoming you to this valuable learning event! 

Best Wishes,

The EDFA team

Become a Member for just $25 per year!

FeaturesNon-Member $0Member $25p/yr
24/7 Daily Support Forum
National Carer Support Groups for carers of loved ones with any eating disorder
Special Carer
Support Groups (run quarterly)
Siblings Support Group
Access to Member Only Content
Twice Monthly Education Sessions with experts from the eating disorder field and those with lived experience
Access to Digital Library - Webinar recordings (over 120 hours)
Member Recommendations - GP's, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Dietitians, Peer Mentors, Recovery Coaches and More. Updated monthly.
Information Packs
strive Monthly topic sheets and talking points
Downloadable EDucational Resources
Discounts to events and conferences
A voice of change in the ED space