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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, or as needed, and members are paid for their contributions.

Paola Balla

Paola is a Wemba-Wemba & Gunditjmara woman (First Nations, South East Australia) & is a visual artist, curator, writer, lecturer & PhD candidate at Victoria University who lectures with Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre. Paola is a Lisa Bellear Post Graduate Research Scholar. Her art & research focuses on black women’s art & activism & it’s role in disrupting patriarchal & colonial dominant narratives & spaces. Her work is based on sovereignty, matriarchy & First Nations ways of ‘being, knowing and doing.’ Paola works in community arts & is a regular guest speaker & published writer. Paola has a Bachelor of Education-Nyerna Studies-Indigenous Major, VU, Post Grad Dip & Masters Community Cultural Development Praxis.

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

Dave Peters

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