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Lived Experience Advisory Board

The Lived Experience Advisory Board are a group of community members from diverse backgrounds and experiences, who provide advice and feedback regarding HAES Australia’s activities, plans and policies. The Lived Experience Advisory Board meet four times a year, and as needed, and members are paid for their contributions.

Elissa Jenkins

Elissa juggles multiple passions. She's a performing artist and puppeteer with Larrikin Puppets, an online publisher of Sustainability Hackers, and also works as a campaigner for two Australian non-profit organisations. Elissa regularly tours for work and travels for pleasure with her puppeteer husband Brett Hansen. She's a digital nomad who works remotely from home, libraries, motels, cafes and parks. Elissa has a couple of different degrees, her most recent being a Master of Arts (in Sociology) for which she achieved a GPA of 7 (the highest academic score possible).

Elissa manages a rare and exquisitely painful eye disease, Scleritis. To help cope with the daily fight to save her eyesight, she actively seeks joy in everyday life and promotes this #EverydayJoy on both Instagram and Facebook. She lives by the sea on Bribie Island in Queensland. She regularly enjoys walks to visit the local dugongs, dolphins and seabirds. She enjoys swimming in the sea and in her lap pool at home.

Ruth Leach

Ruth brings to HAES five years’ experience of advocacy and peer support for individuals and families experiencing recovery from eating disorders. She administers the forums 'Eating Disorder Parents Support'  and 'The Metamorphosis Chronicles', and is a regular contributor to 'International Eating Disorder Parent Support', 'HAES Therapists and Nutritionists' and 'Health at Every Size'. Her work, in person and online, both offers support and disseminates research for a general readership concerned with disordered eating, weight stigma, and health at every size. She is a fat-positive activist. She has previously served as a peer educator for the Queensland Council on the Aged (Cota Qld). From 2001-2006 she directed the New Options for Women program at the Wellington Institute of Technology (NZ).

Edith Hopper

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies, and a Research Fellow in the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University, Australia. In addition to publishing scholarly papers, she publishes memoir, short stories, essays and narrative non-fiction. She is writing a book about fat in Australia.

Her recent autoethnographic publications include ‘“You will face discrimination”: Fatness, motherhood, and the medical profession’ in the Fat Studies Journal (2020) and ‘Stigma in practice: Barriers to health for fat women’ with Dr Cat Pausé in Frontiers of Psychology (2016). She is also queer and fat, and has several 'invisible' disabilities.

Sam Ikin

Sam Ikin is a broadcaster, journalist and writer with more than 20 years of experience working in radio and television around Australia and the host of the award-winning Butterfly: Let's Talk podcast which he creates in partnership with Butterfly Foundaton. For two decades, he produced radio and TV shows and produced, presented and reported news for some of the country’s most respected networks. But today, there’s no need to be attached to a big network. In 2019, he launched Ikin Media, a broadcasting business, utilising my decades of experience for the modern digital world. Sam has a lived experience of eating disorders and body image issues and is a passionate advocate for change in the way our society values body size and shape. 

Acknowledgement of Country

HAES Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters, where we live, work and play.  We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

We commit to ongoing learning and growth as we become an inclusive and diverse community.

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PO Box 201,


Qld 4120

HAES Australia Inc is an Incorporated Association registered with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, IA41314

ABN: 69738175815

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