1. Background 

I graduated from Sydney University in 1987 took my first couple of jobs in the Central West of NSW before shifting to the far north coast of NSW. I’ve been in private practice for over 20 years, currently with a single location in Coolangatta. I lived and ran a small practice in Pottsville NSW when I set up practice, and soon realised I could never hope to run a thriving business from such a small area. I sought to contribute a small part to other dietitian’s consuItations in larger towns and cities to enable me to have a more promising business and to provide me with the quality resources usually only available to larger practices. I set up Great Ideas in Nutrition as a nutrition resource mail order shop in 1992, selling healthy cookbooks and nutrition books by a variety of authors along with my own professional presentation folders to dietitians which eventually spread to the website and consumers.I started creating the Portion Perfection resources in 2004, and they have grown to become the largest part of my business while I retain the luxury of living and working in a small coastal village. In 2014 I launched the products in the US and have many more exciting opportunities in store.

2. Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?

I see clients two days per fortnight to keep my hand in. My practice specialises in weight management including bariatrics, along with IBS and pregnancy/fertility. My usual day starts with a walk on the beach listening to digital marketing or business podcasts. I then check over the overnight emails from overseas and plot out my day. The day may include writing guest blog posts, responding to media requests, updating the content of the books, liaising with graphic designers and editors, planning new resources and managing my staff and consulting practice. I often work from home when I’m writing.

3. What do you most enjoy about your role?

I’m currently enjoying improving my digital marketing and website skills, but I’m loving gaining confidence and experience in business generally.

4. Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why did you choose dietetics as a career?

I actually set out to be a lawyer but a number of twists and turns made me realise that biology and biochemistry made good sense and that I enjoyed the process of understanding someone’s lifestyle and looking for opportunities to help them to mould their life choices into something that resulted in greater happiness for them. Over many years of this I found my strongest asset to be my methods of explaining concepts to clients and using demonstrations or visual tools that resulted in that “now I get it” moment for them. 

5. What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?

Look for patterns in the way you do things, because a pattern becomes a concept becomes something you can develop into your own unique style or product or service. This applies to all avenues of dietetics.

6. What is one interesting fact about you?

I am in love with France. I’ve done two wonderful house swaps and planning on a third for 2016. Last year I spent time with a wonderful French couple and their extended family over their holiday season. I loved the ceremony around food and drink and the respect for the quality of the food. We ate 3 course meals with bread and wine at lunch and dinner every day, taking it in turns to set the tables and prepare the meal for 14 people. I noticed that the French have a much better attitude to alcohol than we do in Australia where we have a drink in our hands from the time we arrive at friends places for dinner until we leave 5 hours later. I’m trying to change that. Salut!