About

How I Started

As a parent, there is an innate connection with your children’s diet. Establishing healthy habits, building vitality and creating a solid foundation for my children’s future drove me back to further study. But this was after a considerable time as a professional Opera Singer and singing teacher – so it was a big task to go back into the classroom as a mature age student with children in infants school.

Helen Barnett Opera Singer Narromine NSW

But hard work, long hours of study and a huge amount of sacrifice eventually paid off and after 6 years I succeeded in gaining both a Bachelor of Science (with University Medal) and a Master’s of Nutrition and Dietetics. One of the surprise pleasures was my passion for research and I thoroughly enjoyed learning for the sake of learning.

Throughout my studies I worked as a research assistant working on numerous University research projects, including synthesising Carbon-13 enriched B12, and testing Cancer drugs, and my own Master’s research paper on Folate Supplementation in Depression was published at the end of 2017. When I am asked “what area of Nutrition interests you the most”, I find this a hard question to answer – my passion is to help improve the quality of life of my client’s through nutrition, so it doesn’t matter what area it is in. Nonetheless, I do have a real passion for Eating Disorders, Body Image and the relationship we have with food. In many instances I believe that exploring and understanding the relationship we have with food unlocks so many answers to our food struggles, and this in turn underlies chronic dieting, weight management, body image struggles and eating disorders.

My Approach

I’m now incredibly lucky to have established a Dietetics practice within Colour City Medical Practice right in the heart of Orange. Here I have the support of a large practice of experienced General Practitioners and administrative staff. I am so humbled to have been welcomed so warmly into so such an amazing team of  people, whose personal values of care and compassion are evident in both the way they practice and live their lives.

Although I am based in Orange, I also provide nutrition and dietetics services to all residents of the Central West including Bathurst, Millthorpe, Blayney, Canowindra, Dubbo, Narromine, Molong, Cowra, Wellington, Parkes, Forbes and beyond. In March 2019 I joined Dubbo Specialists and Rehabilitation Centre and so was able to return to my home region. With Telehealth I am able to provide services to people further afield, so please contact me if you should require this service.

While my approach fundamentally draws on my own compassion, I am nonetheless always guided by the latest scientific evidence. As an Accredited Practising Dietitian I have been trained to blend the science of Nutrition with the art of counselling. This means that I take a holistic approach and consider the many factors (medical history, social background, lifestyle factors) to arrive at the best recommendations for you or your family.

My Interests

While I have many interests when it comes to Nutrition, I am particularly interested in helping people recover from Eating Disorders as well as heal their relationship with food and body image issues. Gastrointestinal issues are another area in which I have a great interest, including IBS, IBD, SIBO, coeliac disease and food intolerances and I have endless empathy in this area due to years of personal experience. In 2017 I completed formal training in the Monash University FODMAPs diet as this has been a diet I have followed myself for many years, so now I am formally a Monash University Low Fodmap Dietitian.

Helen Barnett Dietitian APD Opera Singer Opera at the Dish Parkes 2011

As a parent, I have a keen interest in the impact of food on behaviour in children, as I have experienced first hand the benefits of dietary adjustments with my own children. I do understand the anxiety, along with the challenges (and sometimes frustrations) that parents face when dealing with an unwell child, or a child whose behaviour is not as ideal as they’d like.

When it comes to managing chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease (e.g. Blood Pressure or High cholesterol), osteoporosis, PCOS and fertility issues – just to name a few, I am able to accept GP referrals and provide medicare rebates. However, a referral is not necessary to see a dietitian, and if you have Private Health Insurance, I am able to provide private health rebates as well. I have also recently started seeing DVA and NDIS clients as well.

My Qualifications

  • Masters Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Bachelor of Science (Univeristy Medal)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Anciet History)
  • Graduate Diploma of Music (Opera)
  • Diploma of Opera
  • Fellowship of Music – Singing (AMEB)
  • Monash University Low FODMAP diet Training for Dietitians
  • Motivational Interviewing I and II
  • Health at Every Size (Day 1)
  • CEDD Online Training for Health Professionals in Eating Disorders
  • Marci Evan’s Online Nutritional Counselling for Eating Disorders training
  • Body Image: The Missing Piece of whole body healing
  • Eating Disorders in Sport

Publications and Conferences

Barnett et al, (2017) “The Effect of folate Supplementation on Inflammatory markers in Individuals Susceptible to Depression: A Systemmatic review” Exploratory Research and Hypotheses in Medicine. Available online here

Nutrition Society of Australia 2017 – Australia Pacific Conference of Clinical Nutrition – Poster Presentation of  “The Effect of folate Supplementation on Inflammatory markers in Individuals Susceptible to Depression: A Systemmatic review”

Australian Society for Medical Research 2018 – Oral Presentation of “An Exploration of Clinician perspectives of Paediatric Feeding challenges in the Southern sector of the WNSW LHD”

Australian Society for Medical Research 2018 – Poster Presentation of “The Effect of folate Supplementation on Inflammatory markers in Individuals Susceptible to Depression: A Systemmatic review”

Canberra Health and Research Meeting 2018 – Oral Presentation of “The Effect of folate Supplementation on Inflammatory markers in Individuals Susceptible to Depression: A Systemmatic review”

Canberra Health and Research Meeting 2018 – Poster Presentation of “An exploration of  Clinician perspectives of Paediatric Feeding challenges in the Southern sector of the WNSW LHD”

Continuing Professional Development

I have monthly mentoring Sessions with the Specialist Paediatric Dietitian at the Orange Base Hospital

As I work with Eating Disorders Clients, I have Supervision Once a month with both a Specialist Eating Disorders Dietitian (Shane Jeffrey) and a Specialist Weight Management Psychologist (Glenn Mackintosh for support in case management, de-briefing, extending and furthering my skills and knowledge and advice on further training

I have subscriptions to online training platforms fro monthly webinars on a range of nutrition topics specific to dietetics:

  • Education in Nutrition
  • Dietitian Connection
  • EDRDpro
  • ANZAED

I am enrolled in numerous online courses, along with attend numerous face-to-face courses and conferences

As a member of Dietetics Association of Australia I am required to undertake 30hrs of Continuing Professional Development per year