Latest news | 25 Nov 2022

Wandi Nerida wins ACHS Quality Improvement Award


Australia’s first residential facility for eating disorders wins coveted Award for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety from the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards.

As announced at the Awards Ceremony last night (24 November 2022), Wandi Nerida has won the 2022 ACHS Award for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety.

Jodie Ashworth, Executive Director at Wandi Nerida, said “Thank you to the ACHS Board and judges for this incredible honour. At Wandi Nerida we aim to help make recovery a reality and provide hope for over one million Australians who are living with an eating disorder, and their carers, and it is so heartening to be nationally recognised for our achievements in just over a year of operation.”

According to ACHS, the Award for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety recognises innovation and demonstrated quality improvement in the delivery of safe, effective patient care. Wandi Nerida is a purpose built, multidisciplinary staffed residence that presents as a home like facility. In addition to providing a safe and healing environment for those in need of physical and psychological care, it is an important pilot project for future eating disorder treatment models in Australia.

Butterfly Foundation opened Wandi Nerida in July 2021, with the support of the federal government. Prior to opening, early consultation with the local first nation elders offered insight into the indigenous culture and spirit of the 25 acres of Gubbi Gubbi country on which the facility operates, and these elders gifted the name Wandi Nerida, which means to “gather together to blossom”.

“The new innovative model of care, B-FREEDT MoC© provides a phased treatment structure to address not only symptoms and behaviours but also the underlying perpetuating psychological factors,” said Catherine Houlihan, Clinical Director at Wandi Nerida. “The model of care combines contemporary best practice and innovative complementary therapies, supported by more than 40% of staff with their own lived experience of an eating disorder.”

This model, unique to Australia, aims to deliver ‘proof of concept’ for all other states and territories by providing learnings and robust clinical and economic evaluation to inform the development of residential facilities around the country.

According to a recent participant, “Wandi Nerida provided for me a place that for the first time in my life felt like a home. It gave me a place that I felt safe, cared for and like no matter the difficulty and struggles in my day that I was a person who deserved kindness and love and nothing but that. Something that the team at Wandi Nerida and Butterfly Foundation must be extremely proud of is the culture of being met with kindness in all circumstances and the opportunity to learn, grow and reflect on decisions made in a moment.”

In accepting the Award, Jodie added: “I’d also like to thank the amazing staff at Wandi Nerida, our Board and health care partners, without whom this Award would not be possible. From the beginning, the depth of expertise, compassion and, in many cases, lived experience of our team has truly allowed our participants to experience our values in action and believe they can continue their recovery pathway.”


Media Contact

Alex Cowen – Communications Manager, Butterfly Foundation | 0497 008 716

Editor and 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:

  • Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE) or
  • Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline on 1300 550 23
  • For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14