Joyce discovered a passion for learning about food and wellbeing through her own personal experiences. She developed an interest in her own health and physical fitness from a young age as she grew up dancing. She paid special attention to her diet, to meet the physically demanding aspects of ballet, jazz and contemporary dancing.
“I had to make sure that I was fuelling my body and getting the right nutrition to help me perform well or recover well from illness or injury. That sparked and interest in how nutrition can help tackle disease.”
There was also a more universal concept that held her interest in food and health.
These observations drew her attention to how food can improve physical health as well, beyond social and emotional wellbeing.
After completing her Bachelor of Nutrition Science and Master of Dietetics at Deakin University, Joyce started out in the community space running education sessions and cooking classes for school children.
Following a year of interacting with children and teaching them about sustainable eating habits, Joyce went on to work in different GP clinics addressing a wider variety of health issues with a focus on adult chronic disease management.
Bringing with her these broad experiences of working with children and adults, Joyce joined Windermere in November 2022. She is particularly drawn to early education aspects of her role.
“Having worked with both adults and children, I’ve realised that early intervention can be very effective as it creates better chances of improving health. When you receive knowledge and information at an early age, you can better support your health as you grow up,” says Joyce.
In the Early Intervention and Therapy Services (EITS) space, Joyce works with many children who are picky eaters or struggle with textures of certain foods, which can make meal times challenging for families. She incorporates play into her one-on-one therapy sessions to help children learn about different foods and to become comfortable with a variety of food groups.
“Play in my sessions is very intentional and the main goal is developing a healthy, varied diet,” says Joyce.
Even adding a single fruit to a child’s limited diet can produce great benefits. She recalls how a child was able to start eating apples through her sessions, much to the delight of the child’s parents. The addition of this single rich source of fibre and nutrition happily resolved several health concerns including bowel issues for the child.
These sessions with Joyce support both the children and their parents or care givers.
Within adult therapy services Joyce frequently helps tackle chronic disease management issues, including diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure management. Gut issues and pain relief, allergies and weight management are other health issues that she addresses.
“Being in the community and working with adults, I’ve seen the effects of decades-long lifestyle and dietary choices. Some adults simply haven’t had any prior education about the relationship between diet and health.”
Joyce works with individuals to identify these drawbacks and based on their specific diagnosis, helps them tailor their diet to meet their health goals and prevent further health concerns.
While Joyce enjoys the opportunities to use her skills at Windermere by tackling a wide variety of health conditions, she appreciates the ability to learn from others in a supportive environment.
In addition to the common ground and values she shares with the team, Joyce also cherishes the many staff benefits particularly the opportunities for personal development.
“I was drawn to Windermere, because my focus was on finding a workplace that has strong values, prioritises an inclusive work culture and values their staff,” says Joyce
Having found her calling as a dietitian, Joyce draws from her personal experiences to offer some advice for aspiring dietitians and career starters.
“Take your time to find out which area you are most passionate about, even if that takes multiple jobs or learning experiences. You give your best work when you genuinely care about the person in front of you.”
When she’s not tackling complex dietary needs of others and expanding her knowledge and skillset, Joyce likes to spend her time playing board games with friends and family, discovering new places, scouting Melbourne’s café scene for good coffee and of course, dancing.
“I also like watching AFL with my husband and our families. We all support the Geelong Cats,” she adds.
Our Windermere dietitian team offer support for early intervention through to adults. To find out more about our dietitian services visit here or call the team on 1300 946 337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more about Windermere's range of services and how you can access them here.