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About this supervisor

Deborah Blakley

Accredited Practising Dietitian, Dietitian

About my practice

I welcome supervisees with a special interest in paediatrics, especially: feeding challenges in children and adolescents; neurodiverse kids; and kids with disability.
Although fairly new to clinical supervision in the wonderful rich form that DSRA promotes (as a supervisee and supervisor), I have had extensive experience mentoring of Nutrition & Dietetics students, new graduates, early and mid-career Dietitians over my 20+ year career. I have also benefited from some wonderful mentors who have helped shape my professional practice today. I particularly love supporting early and mid-career dietitians to increase their confidence in supporting children and families with feeding concerns.

As a clinical supervisor, these are my key values:
– compassion and care
– creating an environment of mutual learning and respect
– supervisee wellbeing and growth
– a space to "decompress" and be lifted up
– non-judgement
Heart-centred work has always been at the core of my professional life, and I bring those values to Supervision.

My clinical area of expertise is in paediatric feeding challenges, and in the last 5-10 years I have become skilled in working with children with extreme feeding concerns and their families. Children with Autism, ADHD, sensory feeding challenges, ARFID, and children with weight concerns make up the majority of my clinical caseload. I am fascinated by the intersection of parental feeding experiences and relationship with food, and how that influences how parents and caregivers feed children. I am particularly passionate about supporting grown-ups (parents, carers and early childhood educators) to positively and joyfully connect or reconnect with food and eating and share this with the children in their care. I love to support parents, carers, families and educators to make decisions about nutrition and health from a place of care and consideration rather than control.

I believe that ALL bodies are amazing, and I apply a weight-neutral approach in supporting kids to grow into the bodies that are right for them.
The work that I undertakes with families is grounded in the evidence-based models of Division of Responsibility in Feeding (sDOR) and Eating Competence (ecSatter) developed and researched by Ellyn Satter, Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist. The models remind us that children can be trusted to do their part in eating, and they need care-givers to provide the structure in feeding. I gained my qualification as an Ellyn Satter Institute Associate in 2021.
I am also continuing my development as a dietitian who works with a Responsive Feeding lens. I am committed to ongoing professional development in the area of child and infant feeding and I attend professional development, workshops and conferences each year to improve my skills. I am also currently completing PD in Trauma-informed Care for Dietitians.

My nutrition career started more than 20 years ago after graduating from Queensland University of Technology with a Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics. In 2012 I followed my heart to create Kids Dig Food® a nutrition and dietetics private practice after many years as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, community dietitian and community nutritionist. Today, I enjoy leading a small (and amazing) team of passionate Dietitians within my business, and love the variety and challenge that being a Director of a growing health business provides. Not only does Kids Dig Food® provide clinical services, but I draw on my community nutrition experience to provide workshops, education and training in a variety of settings. In my private practice work, I see first-hand the difference that JOY makes to feeding and eating.

Some of my previous roles with Queensland Health and in the UK spanning 10+ years include: ward Dietitian and outpatients at tertiary hospitals, establishment of a Community Dietetics Home and Community Care service, and as community Dietitian I led initiatives as diverse as breastfeeding promotion, feeding practices in early childhood education settings, food security and worked collaboratively with an Aboriginal Nutrition Worker for many years.

Areas of interest

Disability and NDIS
Eating Disorders ARFID
Eating Disorders Child and Adolescent
HAES and Weight Inclusive Health Care
Motivational Interviewing

Qualifcations & background

B App Sc (Nutrition & Dietetics)
Years of professional experience: 20+ years
Years of experience as a supervisor: 0-5 years
Completed Supervision Training: Yes
My supervision is supervised: Yes
HAES Aligned Practice: Yes

Supervisor details