24 Jan 2024

Meet Stella, one of Butterfly’s sessional presenters


Last year, Butterfly’s Prevention and Education Services reached over 280,000 young people through school and community programs, resources and the Body Kind initiative.

Our student presentations available Australia-wide, are a key part of this important work.

Through onsite and virtual sessions, our goal is to raise awareness of the risk and protective factors for body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and eating disorders, challenge thinking and offer students (Years 5 – 12) strategies to push back against the inevitable pressures they face, now or in the future.

Most importantly all sessions have a strong focus on help seeking whether for themselves or others and the importance of being a good mate to someone who might be struggling.

So, with the 2024 school year upon us, we’re shining a spotlight on the incredible humans who make this possible & giving a sneak peek into why you should book a Butterfly presentation for your school, staff, parent or community group in 2024.

Today we’re chatting to Stella, who has been delivering Butterfly’s student presentations for a number of years, to hear the ins and outs of her job and why she’s passionate about supporting young people with their body image.

Why did you become a Butterfly presenter? What were you doing before this and what led you to join the team?

I became a Butterfly sessional presenter because I’m really passionate about body image issues and eating disorders. Having experienced my own struggles with body, image, eating and exercise, I really wanted to help other young people who were maybe in the same boat as I was.

Prior to joining the Butterfly team, I had a background working for youth mental health organisations, most notably headspace and batyr. I actually started my own mental health training and counselling business, which I still do alongside the work I do with Butterfly.

What is the most rewarding part about being a sessional presenter for Butterfly?

Honestly, just knowing that the work that we’re doing is making a difference. I love meeting young people who feel inspired to shake up diet culture and the current body image narrative after hearing one of our presentations. Knowing that we are challenging young people to view themselves differently, to think about food and exercise differently… it’s so thrilling!

What’s the most challenging part?

By far the most challenging aspect of the role is hearing the experiences of young people that are struggling with their body image, eating, or exercise.

One of the issues is realising that while they might agree with Butterfly messaging, their parents or carers or friends may not, so oftentimes they feel stuck with knowing how to integrate how they feel about their body with what others around them are saying about weight, appearance, and bodies.

It’s also really challenging because the topics we cover – appearance ideals, diets, weight, shape, and size – are such huge issues and with the current social media landscape that we’re navigating (and that many of these young people have just grown up straight into), it can be difficult at times to encourage young people to think critically and challenge the status quo.

Why do you think body image education and Butterfly’s services are important?

I might be biased, but I think every person in Australia should learn about body image and the work of Butterfly!

In the same way that everyone has and experiences mental health, everyone experiences body image, and if we can understand the factors that impact our relationship with eating, exercise, and our bodies, we can have a much healthier relationship with ourselves.

It’s also so important that people are aware that there is help out there if they’re struggling. I know for me, when I started struggling with my body image and eating/exercise behaviours, knowing that there was someone I could turn to, someplace I could go for help, made all the difference!

I always said that had I not taken that step to get professional help, I probably would’ve ended up in a much darker and more dangerous place.

What advice would you give to a young person currently struggling with their body image?

To any young person out there currently struggling… I get it. It is so hard to be a young person these days! Living in a diet culture, appearance-based, social media-focused world can be so confusing!

My advice (as cliché as it may sound) would be to find someone you trust to talk about it with. I know that I personally would not have navigated my way to a healthier body image as quickly and easily without professional help (not that it was quick or easy, but it just would’ve taken a lot longer without their help!).

Another thing I would recommend if you’re struggling with your body image would be to check in with your social media usage. I know for me, when I did this, I realised at the time I was following so many celebrities, models, and fitness influencers, and it wasn’t doing anything positive for my body image. Take note of your social media feeds, and make any necessary changes (unfollow, block, mute etc).

Book a Butterfly Presentation for your school, community or sporting group

With more than 90% of young people reporting some level of body image concern, it’s never been more important to act early and ensure they are equipped with the resources, resilience and knowledge to develop a positive body image and prevent serious mental health concerns, like eating disorders, from developing.

Find out more about our programs and book a presentation or program for 2024 to support your students’ wellbeing:


Email our friendly Education Services team – education@butterfly.org.au 

Related tags: Body Image body image presentations education education services educators presentations prevention prevention services school school progams teachers