Latest news | 18 Oct 2021

NSW State Government to Fund Participants at Wandi Nerida – Australia’s First Eating Disorder Recovery Facility


NSW Deputy Minister and Minister for Mental Health, Bronwyn Taylor, MP, today announced a $130m package for mental health, including $16.5m for supporting those with an eating disorder over four years – $474,000 of which will cover the cost for NSW participants to attend Australia’s first dedicated recovery centre for eating disorders.

Opened in July this year, Wandi Nerida is a purpose-built treatment facility on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, owned and operated by Butterfly Foundation, the national charity for eating disorders and body image issues. The residential centre is open to anyone with an eating disorder who meets the eligibility criteria, and this funding will fund eligible participants from NSW to get the help they need.

Wandi Nerida is a not-for-profit facility, that provides a much-needed bridge between hospital admission and outpatient care. Operating under the Butterfly Foundation Residential Eating Disorders Treatment (B-FREEDT) Model of Care©, participants to the 13-bed state-of-the-art facility attend for an average of 60 days, receiving a phased treatment that addresses both symptoms and behaviours, as well as underlying psychological contributing factors.

Butterfly CEO, Kevin Barrow, said that the contribution from the NSW Government will fund eligible people in the state who are suffering from an eating disorder but lack the financial means to attend over the next two years. “We have a vision that anyone who needs intensive residential treatment and would benefit from Wandi Nerida’s home-like setting and B-FREEDT Model of Care© will be able to access the support they need.”

“Covid has seen a spike in demand for treatment for eating disorders across the country, as evidenced by a 60% increase in demand to our National Helpline over the last 12 months,” he said. “Wandi Nerida is the first of six residential treatment centres supported by the Federal Government to be built across Australia, and by providing funding for beds for participants, the NSW Government is helping to ease the demand on services.”

The facility provides a high staff to participant ratio, including qualified and experienced medical, allied health, and support staff, many of whom have their own lived experience of an eating disorder. Treatment includes traditional psychological and dietetic intervention, as well as equine-assisted, permaculture (eco-psychology), art, music, drama and movement therapy. Participants are funded through a combination of Federal Government funding, private health insurance, participant contributions, and philanthropy.

”The Commonwealth Government has contributed $6 million towards the construction and operation of Wandi Nerida. Ongoing support of public and private donors is integral to ensuring the facility can help as many Australians as possible,” said Kevin Barrow.

Media Contacts:

Alex Cowen, Communications Manager, P: 0497 008 716, E:

Mark Henderson, Edelman for Butterfly, P: 0431 465 004, E:


About Butterfly 

Butterfly is Australia’s leading not for profit supporting everyone affected by eating and body image issues. You can find out about Butterfly and our prevention services for schools and communities at  or contact our education team –

About Wandi Nerida

Butterfly Residential Care, trading as Wandi Nerida, is Australia’s first residential recovery centre for people affected by an eating disorder. It is 100% owned and operated by the Butterfly Foundation. It provides a safe, nurturing and healing environment for those most in need, delivering concentrated, person-centred treatment. Wandi Nerida provides a bridge between hospital admission and outpatient care to provide an opportunity for a more intensive psychological recovery, finding the ‘healthy self’ amidst the eating disorder.

Editor & Producers Note

Please include the following support line details in all media coverage of this story and refer to the Mindframe Media guidelines for safe reporting on eating disorders. Please include the following helpline message.

Help and Support

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact: