History of ANZAED
ANZAED was established in 2002 by Peter Beumont and Paul Foulkes as an association of professionals, both academic and clinical, who work with eating disorders. Its original goals were to foster a collegial culture, facilitate communication and liaison among professionals of all disciplines, adopt a respect for all theories and research, develop a better understanding of patients and advocate for more adequate resources.
From modest beginnings, ANZAED has grown in size and scope. The first conference, one of the first activities offered to members of ANZAED, was held in 2003 with approximately 40 people attending and only a tin of instant coffee and packet of biscuits for sustenance. Along with a range of activities, the annual conference has grown every year since, now hosting approximately 400 delegates over 3 days and offering a range of clinical, research and networking opportunities.
Also reflecting ANZAED’s growth, since its inception in 2002, the organisation has had nine presidents, and the executive committee has expanded to 14 current members, all taking active roles in our now 11 sub-committees – all of which help manage the organisation and its rise in membership from 25 members in 2003 to 353 members in 2018. Our consistent growth also led to the employment of a Development Director, in 2011, and most recently the appointment of an Administrative Assistant to support our activities.
Today, as the peak body representing and supporting the activities of all professionals working in the eating disorder field, ANZAED strives to integrate expertise, facilitate communication and advocate on behalf of those living with, and those working in, the eating disorders field. We have expanded our professional development opportunities to include the annual Autumn Workshop Series and one-day workshops. We also provide regular online activities to reach greater number of members, including monthly webinars, our new online PD hub and our online training programs in binge eating disorder and the medical management of eating disorders. Our interest groups and trial of online listservs also provide greater opportunities for professional networking. Moreover, we are supporting advocacy efforts to increase Medicare support for eating disorder treatment and supporting researchers through scholarships and collaboration with the Journal of Eating Disorders.
ANZAED is a member-run and member-focused organisation. With more members joining ANZAED, and with greater involvement of members in our activities, ANZAED has better capacity to support our members in their professions. Ultimately this will lead to better outcomes for those living with and impacted by eating disorders.