by Ben Somerford,


Happy Dietitians Day!

September 19 marks Dietitians Day which is a chance to celebrate the many dedicated Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) working to build healthier communities. At Cancer Council WA, we’ve got three fabulous dietitians whose stories are worth telling - we thought we'd take the time to mark the occasion and de-bunk a few myths about dietitians along the way!

Anne Finch - Public Health Nutrition Coordinator

I grew up in a tofu and lentils kind of house, and after a brief rebellion working in bars and bakeries, became an Accredited Practising Dietitian. I’ve worked in women’s and refugee health but have been working predominantly in public health and chronic disease prevention since 2013. 

Anne Finch

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

I love the variety that I get in my work. Today I’ll be working on our workplace nutrition policy, doing research to update our Cancer Myths webpage and writing fact sheets to support our recent podcast collaboration.

Why did you get into dietetics?

Dietetics is a caring profession where I get to think about and talk about food all day. Perfect!  

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Diverse, creative and... delicious?

Physical activity is a big part of being healthy. What’s your favourite way to exercise?

I find swimming laps really relaxing and meditative. That’s working for me at the moment.

What’s something that you want people to know about being a dietitian?

Dietitians are not celery-munching food police! We’re normal people who love food.

What’s your favourite LiveLighter recipe?

Aaaah, there’s too many! I love the loaded mushroom burger and Mexican mince/lentils is always on high rotation at home. I also want to give a shout out to the zucchini carpaccio recipe  – I was very sceptical but it’s actually super delicious.

What is your go-to dish to bring to a party?

I’m a fan of a cheese board with interesting dips like smashed peas or roast pumpkin hummus.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I never feel guilty about pleasure… but I guess… Survivor and café grande ice cream. 

Gael Myers - LiveLighter Nutrition Coordinator

After a brief stint as a mathematician I realised that I liked vegetables more than pi, and made the move to a career in nutrition and dietetics. I’ve worked as an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Cancer Council WA since February 2016; in this time I have been involved with both the Crunch&Sip and LiveLighter programs.

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What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

My work days are so varied! My role involves developing resources (like recipe books), writing blogs and media articles, managing the website and delivering nutrition talks. At the moment I am working on a ‘dude food’ booklet which I’m very excited about. I’ve been working closely with the MAN v FAT crew to develop a resource with no-nonsense nutrition advice and tasty recipes that will appeal to men.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Varied, entertaining and big picture.

If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind of would you be and why?

I guess a yam because I yam who I yam.

Physical activity is a big part of being healthy. What’s your favourite way to exercise?

I can’t go past a walk with my 4 month old pup Luna. She has bundles of energy and it’s an absolute joy to run around the park with her.

What’s something that you want people to know about being a dietitian?

I don’t think you’re a bad person if you eat a piece of cake. I’ve had so many people pretend to hide their food from me if they think I wouldn’t approve. But I love food (that includes salad as well as cake and chocolate) too! I think it’s healthy to include a little bit of ‘unhealthy’ in your diet – it really is all about balance.

What’s your favourite LiveLighter recipe?

My absolute favourite LiveLighter dish is pantry pasta, which is the vego version of spaghetti bolognese. It’s tasty, comforting and packed with vegies. I’m also a big fan of our walnut lentil salad. I’ve used this recipe loads when doing community cooking classes as it’s super quick and easy – and I’ve seen so many people absolutely change their mind about lentils and realise how delicious they can be if done right!

Sonia White - Crunch&Sip Project Officer

I’ve been an Accredited Practising Dietitian for a couple of decades now, which makes me sound older than I feel. I'm passionate about prevention and established my own private practice clinics and later moved into public health nutrition, an area that I love. I have worked with Cancer Council WA developing LiveLighter recipes for a number of years while consulting to HBF, BUPA and WA Police in facilitating nutrition seminars and cooking demonstrations and delivering one-on-one consultations to corporate clients.

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What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

I am working on the new Packed with Goodness nutrition education program which I am delivering to parents of primary school aged-children.  So part of my week is spent in the office and part is in school facilitation nutrition sessions.

Why did you get into dietetics?

Quite simply, I love food!  I topped nutrition when studying it at school and my dad, who was incredibly health conscious, would pay me to cook him healthy recipes when I was a teenager. Banana cake in particular!  Dad’s thought was there would always be a need for dietitians as our population ages so food + cooking + job potential = diet


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