Chairperson Reflections 2021-22 - Eating Disorders Victoria
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This Chairperson reflection is part of EDV’s 2021-22 Annual Report. You can view the 2021-22 Annual Report online here.

From the Chair

This year brought needed consolidation after much change in the previous two years. EDV was able to return, albeit slightly intermittently, to normal operations and face-to-face working whilst retaining the online services which proved so needed and popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDV participated strongly in various committees and round tables at both the senior executive and board level in an effort to serve the community. This work was pivotal in leading to the announcement of a new Victorian Eating Disorder Strategy in May 2022. Whilst this is welcome recognition of the importance of a coordinated response to eating disorders, it came with the news that the majority of EDV’s funding is only guaranteed until June 2023.

EDV will contribute to the Strategy as a leader in the field, drawing on our coalface understanding of lived experience. In parallel with the Strategy, we will continue to work with government on the development of a funding model for EDV that is more assured in the medium term, allowing our valued programs to operate with certainty and longevity.

Martin Newnham, our long-time Treasurer, retired from the board this year. Martin leaves a legacy of a much-improved board financial reporting functions which continues to serve us well.  Our thanks go to Martin for his outstanding service.

This year we welcomed new board members, Emma Mackinnon (nee Sutton) who transitioned from being the first board mentee to being a full board member; Jeff Cole who stepped into the Treasurer role and managed to achieve a seamless transition as well as making strong contributions on the board strategic reporting front.

Our governance structures and processes were enhanced through holding two full day Board planning meetings attended by most Board members and the CEO. These were a welcome return to face-to-face interactions and were expertly facilitated by former chair Dr. Leanne Beagley.  Board members were able to spend quality time fully understanding forward strategies and brainstorming enhancements to governance processes. It is intended to make these planning days at least an annual event.

Thanks in particular to Janet Lowndes for forming and chairing the Clinical Governance Sub-committee and to the members and contributors to that committee.  This addition to our governance framework was facilitated by a targeted board recruitment process which identified key skills need for our work as a board.  Another example of skills used by the board was the formation of a comprehensive advocacy plan lead from board level by Johanna Wicks.

My thanks once again go to the entire board, especially deputy Claire Diffey and Chair of the Strategic Sub-committee Richard Matotek.

Thanks to Belinda and the dedicated team working at EDV as well as our volunteers who continue give their time to us. Whilst at the beginning of my report I alluded to a year of consolidation, that is not to say that the challenges of day-to-day operations have abated, and the team have continued to show resilience and persistence and even had time for innovation.

The next year will hopefully bring funding structure improvements to allow EDV to further consolidate its efforts.

Nick Gurner
Board Chair

Nick Gurner
Chair

Nick is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ANZ), a registered tax agent and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nick is a director of Le Cordon Bleu Australia Pty Ltd, Le Cordon Bleu Dusit (Thailand) and Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Management Ltd. and acts as Chair of all these companies, as well as advisor to the owner and President of Le Cordon Bleu International.

Prior to this, Nick was an audit manager with Ernst and Young and a principal of Hayes Knight (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., a second tier professional services firm, a director and founder of Prophecy Wealth Management Pty Ltd a licensee of Hillross Financial services, and in public practice for 17 years. He has also been a director and treasurer of Guide Dogs (S.A. and N.T.) and a board member of the Torrens Valley TAFE for several years and retains directorships of several private companies.

Nick joined the Board in March 2017.

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