The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria has been providing information, support and hope to people whose lives are affected by an eating disorder since 1983.
Operating initially as the Anorexia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria, the organisation has evolved in both name and mission, now supporting people affected by all types of eating disorders.
Below is a summary of the growth and changes that have taken place within the organisation and the field of eating disorders in Australia:
1983: Concerned with the high incidence of eating disorders they were seeing, a group of mental health professionals formed the Anorexia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria as a sub-committee of the Victorian Association of Mental Health (VAMH). They began operating out of the VAMH premises in Camberwell.
1984: Bulimia nervosa is officially recognised as an eating disorder. The sub-committee becomes the Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Fellowship of Victoria (ABNFV).
1988: Government funding allows the ABNFV to employ its first paid staff member, responsible for coordinating support services.
1989: Volunteers are recruited to assist with the helpline, a phone service that people can call for information relating to eating disorders.
1991: The ABNFV relocates to its own premises in Glen Iris and becomes an autonomous organisation, no longer operating as part of the Victorian Association of Mental Health.
1992: The ABNFV launches Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Awareness Week.
1995: National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (BIEDAW) is held during the first week of September in partnership with the ABNFV’s sister organisations across Australia.
1996: The ABNFV rolls out a teacher training program, Eating Disorders and Body Image Dissatisfaction, holding workshops in metropolitan and country venues. Additional funding is secured, allowing a second staff member to be employed.
1998: We go digital, setting up the ABNFV website so people can access information about eating disorders online.
2000: Recognising that the classification of eating disorders has moved beyond just anorexia and bulimia, the ABNFV changes its name to The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria (EDFV).
2004: The Eating Disorders Resource for Secondary Schools is launched, along with a professional development program for school staff in the prevention, identification and early intervention of eating disorders.
2007: The EDFV continues to grow, employing five new staff members over a three-year period. We expand the Helpline services to an online chatroom and message board.
2008: We launch family workshops for people who are caring for someone living with an eating disorder and reveal a new-look website.
2012: To coincide with International No Diet Day, EDV launches our annual awareness and fundraising campaign Feed the Soul at Parliament House with the Minister for Mental Health, The Hon Mary Wooldridge. The campaign aimed to remind people that food and eating is so much more than just what we put in our mouths.
2013: We hire our first in-house psychologist and relocate to new premises in Abbotsford.
2014: A key branch of our services, EDV Education is formalised and launched, offering training programs for schools, people in the fitness industry and specialised GP training.
2017: We deliver two new programs: the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP), the first of its kind in Australia, which pairs a person in recovery from an eating disorder with an EDV employee with lived experience; and Body Project Australia, an early intervention and prevention program for girls aged 14–18, improving body acceptance and preventing the onset of eating disorders.
2018: Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announce that, for the first time ever, individuals with severe eating disorders will have access to a comprehensive and subsidised treatment plan through Medicare. We hire our first in-house dietitian and expand our psychology team, reducing wait lists and giving clients more flexibility with appointments.
2019: Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley announces funding for another year of EDV’s Peer Mentoring Program.