I have had the pleasure of being the publisher of Melinda's two latest books - Why Can't I Look the Way I Want? and It Will Get Better. Melinda is an intelligent, passionate, motivated person and writer. She has risen admirably above her own stretching teen issues to become a powerful advocate and mentor. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She's a warm, radiant person of high integrity and professionalism.Maggie Hamilton - Publisher - Inspired Living, Allen & Unwin
Melinda, on behalf of ACTATE (The ACT Association for the Teaching of English), we would like to thank you for your smooth, professional performance in executing your role as MC for our Awards night for the 2010 Litlinks Young Writers' Competition.The night was a resounding success and you played a vital part in this.You came across as someone who genuinely cared about the proceedings and you engaged so well with all of our prominent young professional writers, who spoke. Not only that, but you infused your own intelligent insights into the subject matter, on which you are obviously well versed.Thank you and please don't hesitate to use us as a reference to anyone who may wish to engage you as an MC for their function. You are highly recommended!Suzanne Kiraly - Vice President ACTATE & Litlinks Coordinator
Andrea Owen - Founder & CEO, 'Your Kick Ass Life'
When Melinda Hutchings kindly agreed to be an Ambassador at our recent national day, Forget-me-knot Day, we were thrilled. A colleague has recommended her to us and we could not have been more delighted with Melinda’s pivotal role in our proceedings.
Melinda was most generous with her time in leading up to the event, even offering to use her personal blog to help promote our work. She was particular to ensure she was correctly briefed and that she was across the subject matter and organisation. Melinda was open to media contact and also gave an inspirational performance at a conference for adult survivors being held on Forget-me-knot Day by a sister organisation.
Melinda’s professionalism on the day, in performing the MC role, and ensuring that everything not only ran smoothly but was entirely appropriate to the occasion is to be greatly admired. I have no hesitation in recommending Melinda in terms of her speaking ability, MC capacity and her sheer humanity. She is indeed an inspiration for all.
Dr Cathy Kezelman - CEO/Executive Director, Adults Surviving Child Abuse
As Eating Disorder Consultant with the NSW Health department I have known Melinda for over 3 years. During this time she has impressed me with her professionalism and her capacity to touch on key messages of hope, encouragement and support with honesty and clarity that encourages others to view change as not only possible, but desirable. She does this, not by words of empty motivation and pressure, but in a frank discussion of the challenges and benefits of change, leaving others with an enhanced capacity to make their own change ventures.
I have seen Melinda speaking to a large audience of professionals, a small group of patients, and 1 on 1 with colleagues and patients alike. In all circumstances she is warm, comfortable, sincere and passionate. She has a genuine commitment to providing important resources that help raise awareness of recovery from eating and other mental health issues.
Jeremy Freeman - Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders, NSW Health Department
I am teacher and a mum of two gorgeous girls 9 and 12. I just wanted
to let you know how impressed I was with your presentation yesterday.
I wanted to commend you on your courage to speak so openly about your
personal story. It was excellent reminder of how I should care for my
girls and the girls I teach.
Feedback from Generation Next Seminars 2010
"It was a terrific seminar and every speaker was dynamic and to the point."
"The conference speakers were engaging and stimulating and to be honest I have thought of little else since...! It was extremely uplifting to listen to people who love what they do, who are passionate about young people, passionate about their area of expertise and who are generous enough to share their knowledge, insights and understanding to improve the lives of others. Congratulations to everyone involved, I for one have been moved into action and inspired to act!"
"You had very high quality speakers whose presentations resonated with their audience. I felt every item presented was relevant to me as a secondary teacher in an all girls secondary college, as a Health teacher and, most importantly, as a Year 7 co-ordinator, oh yes and a mother of 3 adolescent children!"
"The seminar was really fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the speakers were fantastic."
"It was very insightful. I got such a lot out of hearing from the wonderful line up of speakers you organised for us. I congratulate you putting such a powerful line-up and message together."
Melinda was a key speaker at the Annual Youth Forums hosted by the Eating Disorders Foundation Inc. in 2003, 2004 and 2008, the largest of which was in the Sydney Town Hall and was attended by nearly 2000 high school students. Melinda is a very articulate, professional and engaging speaker and her presentations at the Eating Disorders Foundation Inc. functions have always been very well accepted by the audience. I would not hesitate to add that in this capacity she has managed to touch a number of young lives, and in so doing, made a real difference. Please note the Eating Disorders Foundation Inc. closed in 2009 and all services are now provided by the Butterfly Foundation.
Mary Orenstein - National Manager, Communications and Fundraising, The Butterfly Foundation
Melinda embodies an inspiring combination of self-possession, humility and confidence that comes from the pain-staking work of conscientiously exploring oneself and knowing oneself intimately. Her brilliant gift for self-expression is equally evident on the page as on the stage. She shared the stage with me on the panel discussion after my play, Beginner at Life, on several evenings. I was thrilled that Melinda so generously shared her own experiences and was able to add more nuance to the conditions that are so often misunderstood. She is passionate, engaging and sincere.
Alana Ruben Free - New York Playwrite
I was impressed and moved by Melinda’s inspiring address to the audience which included high school students, fellow authors and dignitaries. Melinda speaks eloquently and from the heart about her very personal struggle with anorexia and how she turned her life around to have a successful career and become a mother – a world away from the destructive ‘voices in her head’ of her youth. Just as Melinda’s books have motivated countless people to end their suffering, Melinda affects everyone who has the privilege of hearing her speak.
Jacinta Tynan - News Presenter, Author, Columnist
Melinda impressed me with her ability to enthral and hold the audience (which included high school students, health professionals, corporate executives and public figures), with her story of success in the face of adversity. Melinda is a very positive person and leaves her listeners feeling moved and inspired. Her success in both turning her life around under extremely difficult circumstances, and with the books she has authored, is a testament to her personal strength and impressive work ethic as well as her determination to make a difference through helping and inspiring others.
Selwa Anthony - Literary Agent
Melinda proved to me that recovery is possible. You just need to take the first step and admit to having a problem and then take further steps, however small, to lead yourself back on the path to inner peace, wellness and recovery.
Over the years as I began the road to recovery, Melinda became a role model and mentor for me. We would meet for coffee, lunch, and other outings where she would take the time to convey techniques she found helpful and always listened to me without judgement or frustration. I felt I could tell her things that I could not tell anyone else, because they would not understand. We still remain close friends today.
Having a mentor during recovery can be so helpful. While everyone’s experience and triggers are different, someone who has suffered with an eating disorder possesses the insight to help others through their dark times.
Melinda is an inspiration in so many ways and continues to help support those battling with eating disorders. Her tireless work and self-help books have been a valuable resource for many sufferers, parents, friends and loved ones.
Melinda has been my Mentor for several months. She has provided me with fresh insight into how I can achieve full recovery from my eating disorder. Because Melinda has a lived experience of an eating disorder, she completely understood my thoughts, feelings and behaviours. She was able to provide me with examples of the choices she made when faced with similar issues to my own.
Melinda is an extremely positive person with a deep connection to her heart. I always left our sessions full of hope and belief in myself that full recovery from this insidious disorder is 100% achievable and possible. I will be forever grateful for the support, understanding and wisdom Melinda has given me.
Thank you Melinda, may you continue to help others in such a deep and profound way.
During my recovery, Melinda was wonderful at helping me understand how to slow down the negative thoughts racing through my head, make sense of them and then turn them around. I am so excited that she has decided to mentor people in recovery because it means so many people out there will have the best chance to let go of their eating disorder and move forward.
Melinda is a courageous, encouraging and proactive individual with a genuine care and concern for all affected by eating disorders. Having experienced the road of recovery, she tirelessly devotes herself to helping others along their journey. Appreciating the simple things in life, she speaks openly and honestly about her experiences; has provided immeasurable inspiration and support through her books and personal encounters. A pivotal role model, Melinda is an inspiring woman for mentoring people along their journey of recovery.
Last year I was admitted to hospital after having relapsed with Anorexia. I went in with a positive, motivated attitude, wanting to get my life back on track, yet not quite sure how. Melinda Hutchings came to visit me part-way through my admission – just as the usual doubts about recovery were starting to envelope me. She had such great insight, having once been in my exact position herself. I was reminded what it was to be passionate and to enjoy every-day activities. Melinda inspired me by speaking about her experiences and the time I spent with her was truly beneficial.
I found Melinda Hutchings to be an exceptional Coach. She lifted my spirit when I was down; provided me with clarity when I felt confused; and inspired me with her amazing attitude, wisdom and insight. Melinda walked right beside me in my journey to self-discovery, and gave me time to explore who I wanted to be. She was always there like a safety net each time I would fall, and gave me the support, confidence and strength to get back up again. Instead of providing me with solutions to my problems, Melinda gave me the best gift of all by empowering me to find my own answers. She got me out of my head and into my heart, and gave me encouragement to trust myself and follow my instinct.
She also strengthened my ability to set goals, and taught me very creative and effective strategies to make my dreams become a reality. Her support throughout our sessions was truly remarkable. I always felt validated, comforted and okay to be who I am.
Melinda has coached me 12 times over a 4 month period and has literally transformed my life. Straight away I felt safe to let the true 'me' be expressed in the company of Melinda. Her empathetic and creative nature has given me the power to discover hidden factors that were inhibiting momentum in all areas of my life. My future is now so exciting because of Melinda’s amazing intuition and coaching skills.
Melinda's coaching is exactly what I needed to motivate me to push through the difficult situation I was in. Her guidance, support and belief helped me stop and plan, rather than react to situations. The exercises she taught me during our sessions are an invaluable tool to continue to move forward. Thanks Melinda!
I began coaching with Melinda at a time in my life where I felt I had no direction. Nothing excited me and I was unable to break through the barriers holding me back. Through coaching, Melinda has helped me become passionate about my life and her guiding words have ignited a sense of determination that I am in control of my happiness and I can achieve the life I want. Melinda has been the positive voice I needed, the mentor to guide me and the support I required along the way. I will be forever grateful for the energy and excitement Melinda has helped me unleash and I feel lucky to have had the chance to meet such an inspirational person.