Work with Me

I’m a consultant, collaborating with organisations in a variety of ways, offering my unique approach, experience, and expertise. I can help to

  • Support your organisation to function more effectively, more creatively, and with more heart
  • Bring creativity and hope to something that isn’t working
  • Help you troubleshoot something sensitive, nebulous, and difficult to name that needs to be explored with a good facilitator
  • Design or implement a new project, program, or resource
  • Provide peer based mentoring or support

I can support with brief advice and skills or partner with you and support your work in the longer term.

I’m passionate about my career, and have an excellent track record despite my health challenges and experience of disability so please feel confident in working with me! I have taken fewer than 10 sick days in the previous 3 years of work with more than 300 clients. I am an expert in managing my health and access needs.

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Blue skies snip

In 2012 I was contracted to support Peer based organisation ACEDA during a period of funding, staff, and board crisis. Several staff had left or been asked to leave and as a result, the organisation was in breach of its funding requirements in service provision. I was asked to step into the Eating Disorder peer worker role, and to provide sensitive peer based support to the other staff who were under considerable stress. I started my first shift within 12 hours of being contacted and walked in to find hundreds of emails and phone calls requesting support that had been waiting weeks for reply, chaotic resources with key documents missing and no guides or manuals.

I responded to all contacts with email, phone, or face to face support, and in doing so, conducted an informal consultation with staff and clients about what resources had previously been running, their format and value, and what was currently most needed. One key question that quickly emerged was whether people had ever met anyone who had recovered from an eating disorder. Almost no one contacting ACEDA for support had. This was a crucial need. Based on feedback I developed and implemented the following resources within a few weeks:

  • Support group: the groups that had been running before I stepped in were divided according to diagnosis and had poor attendance. I amalgamated them into one group, removed the issue of diagnosis, changed the language from clinical to experiential (‘food issues’ rather than anorexia etc) and encouraged people to self refer and self regulate their involvement with a strong focus on peer based support, and informed by the recovery model and hearing voices network group models. I created a friendly flyer, an email list with weekly updates about the group, and recruited a highly skilled volunteer counsellor Ellie to co-facilitate the group who had lived experience of a different kind to my own to promote a diversity of experiences and recovery styles. Ellie and met to debrief and reflect following each group, and I sent out a weekly email summarising the discussion and with links to any resources for specific needs to everyone who had expressed interest in the group. The group was well attended with between 7 and 15 members who endorsed it as highly useful.
  • Library: the existing library was largely outdated and eating disorders has had a significant boost in knowledge in the past 15 years. I gathered some recommendations from people who were in recovery and created a small library of up to date books.
  • Professional Referral Database: another staff member diligently gathered the referrals from each team into a central database. I contacted each eating disorder related entry and updated or removed obsolete entries. I also asked every person who contacted us if they had any existing professional supports to recommend. If they endorsed someone, I contacted that person directly and invited them to be on our database which covered counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, but also important health providers such as general practitioners, dentists, and dietitians.
    It rapidly emerged in my direct client contact that our database and resources needed to be more comprehensive than just ‘eating disorders’ as people were exhibiting eating disordered behaviours for a range of reasons and often dealing with other significant challenges. Sometimes referrals such as support for domestic violence, caring for mentally ill parents, grief, or childhood sexual abuse were more  useful and appropriate. I expanded the database to gather current referrals with a range of expertise who were comfortable working with people with eating disorders.

3 months later, ACEDA was sadly unsuccessful in the next round of funding applications, so I closed the group, emailed the databases, forwarded enquiries to interstate eating disorder organisations and then to the organisation who was the funding recipient, and participated in the emptying of the premises and staff farewells. It was a distressing and tumultuous time for all involved, and I was proud to step in at short notice and be a safe, competent member of the team, delivering an excellent service with minimal guidance, and support the winding up the organisation responsibly.