endED Butterfly House
endED Butterfly House will be Australia’s first live-in eating disorder residential facility.
228 Old Gympie Road, Mooloolah Valley, QLD 4553
How endEd Butterfly House came to be
Over the course of 24 years, Mark and Gay tried every available support service to help their two daughters who live with eating disorders. They learnt that the support their family needed simply was not available, and sadly they learnt that in this, they were not alone. In just those very first endED gatherings it became clear that Mark and Gay’s story was all too common.
As the endED fortnightly meetings grew, a vision formed for a new way of treating people living with eating disorders in Australia. In other countries around the world, specialist, home-like residential treatment facilities existed to give people the perfect setting and the holistic support they needed to recover. Australia did not have even one.
endED’s new mission was clear.
When Mark and Gay described their vision to Christine Morgan ( CEO of the Butterfly Foundation) Christine told them that the Butterfly Foundation had been planning to develop a residential facility for years, based on successful models in the US. The Butterfly Foundation was founded in 2002 by Claire Middleton who became acutely aware of the lack of resources available after her two Daughters, who suffered from anorexia nervosa, found it very difficult to find help. By 2005 Claire had exhausted her search for ED support in Australia and set out on an overseas mission to seek out models of care. During this time Claire met Carolyn Costin and soon realised that Carolyn’s methods were successful and invited Carolyn to Australia so that we could learn from her experiences.
Since then Butterfly has grown into a National body representing the voice of lived experience. Butterfly also run the National Helpline 1800 ED HOPE, programs for schools and teachers on body image, an intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adults and youth and community recovery support services.
The first important stage of the project was identifying the right setting for the residential and Mark found a perfect 25 acre property in Mooloolah Valley. Putting their own home on the market to finance the sale of the property, Mark and Gay needed backing from the community, and it wasn’t long in coming.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson introduced them to Roy and Nola Thompson. Roy and Nola’s family too had been tragically touched by eating disorders and understood the pain and suffering they inflict. When Roy heard that Mark and Gay needed funds to settle the purchase of the land he took an endED business card, turned to his wife and simply said “Nola, we just bought this guy’s business card for $1 million”. Within two days, the property was settled.
Others too came on board and played an important role. Local Federal MP Andrew Wallace had his family’s own eating disorder story to tell. He joined Cr Jason O’Pray as a Patron of endED and got straight to work. Andrew invited Mark to Canberra and introduced him to the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Mark made a pitch for construction funding to Minister Hunt and waited to hear what the answer would be.
Back on the Coast, endED’s campaign for help from the community gathered pace. More than thirty local businesses came on board to pledge money, materials, skills and expertise to help make the House a reality. You can find details of all of them on this webpage. Without each of these businesses and their owners, who recognised the terrible need for this facility and pledged their support, endED Butterfly House would never have got out of the ground. In particular endED and Butterfly would like to acknowledge BA Murphy for taking on this project as Principal Contractor on a cost only basis and for providing major savings through pro bono and in-kind support.
Finally, it all came together when Minister Hunt and Andrew Wallace announced that the Federal Government would help. In all, the Government promised $6 million to allow construction to go ahead and to help run the facility over its first four years. With this funding not only could the building be finished, but endED and Butterfly could ensure that treatment will be available for vulnerable families who do not have the means to cover the full cost.
endED Butterfly House is truly a community project that has brought the Sunshine Coast together. It is built on local philanthropic support, on the support of the Federal Government, of Sunshine Coast Council and of all the wonderful local companies that are listed on this website.
When complete it will finally bring hope to other families just like Mark and Gay’s, and Butterfly founder Claire Middleton’s; families who today are crying out for the right environment and the right treatment for their loved ones in pain.
But it is bigger even than this. Inspired by endED Butterfly House’s example, the Federal Government is now investing another $64 million to set up a specialist residential treatment facility for eating disorders in every State in Australia. Soon, sufferers all over the country will benefit from endED and Butterfly’s vision.
As the old song goes, “From little things big things grow”.
Sunshine Coast Council
Andrew Wallace MP
BA Murphy Constructions
“Sitting prominently within the core values of the BA Murphy Constructions business, is the commitment to supporting those less fortunate in our wider community. We are sincerely pleased to offer our time and expertise to the endED organisation and in doing so, help the sufferers of eating disorders and their families. After hearing about the sheer number of people either directly or indirectly effected by this terrible condition, we immediately committed to the cause and are honoured to be able to deliver such an important facility; the first of its kind in Australia. Since embarking on this journey with EndED, a warm feeling has resonated within the project team, knowing that our relatively small contribution will assist in the recovery of so many for years to come.”
“ADG exists to make a positive, lasting impact on our community. Through pro bono engineering work, we were able provide much needed support to the endED Butterfly House to help transform their idea into reality of creating Australia’s first residential treatment facility for eating disorders.”
Bones Plumbing & Roofing
“CadCon are committed to adding value to our projects and our involvement in endED Butterfly House is one project that adds great value to our whole community.”
D&L Forbes Engineering
Hansen Heidelberg Cement Group
“I am always happy to be involved with local community projects that provide a significant benefit to the health and wellbeing of people. Mark’s patience and persistence with this project is inspirational.”
Jensen Electrical Group
Meales Concrete Pumping
Port City Airconditioning
“As Sunshine Coast locals, we support the national endeavour of in-house treatment and recovery through the endEd Butterfly House.”
Pure Building Approvals
“Pure BA is involved in endED Butterfly House as we always like to support the local community.”
“Butterfly House is a great first for Australia and a significant step forward in the treatment of Eating Disorders. Tectonic are delighted to have been of assistance.” – Ashley Davey, Director
If you would like to get involved, or find out how you can support our project then please get in touch with us.