Who is ED? endED espresso bar

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill Portrait

Matt Golinski meets the locals who are on a mission to save the lives of families affected by eating disorders.

ED looks in the mirror daily and is never happy with their reflection, no matter how many times their best friends tell them they look great.

ED can’t hear their mum sobbing in her bedroom, or their dad on the phone to the hospital pleading with them to help, because the voice telling them they must get thinner is louder than their parents’ desperate cries.

ED reaches a point in their illness that their lack of nutrition has damaged their heart, brain, kidneys and other organs to such a degree that they reach a crossroads of either receiving the quality support and care they need in an appropriate environment, or the mental and physical battle they live with ultimately claims their life.

Sadly for many people suffering with eating disorders (ED), help can be hard to find and heartbroken family and friends can only watch on helplessly as their loved one fades away.

One Sunshine Coast couple who know ED all too well are Mark and Gay Forbes. 

Over the course of 24 years, they tried every available support service to help their two daughters who live with eating disorders. In 2015, after opening up their home to other families to facilitate a local support network, they decided that rather than wait any longer for the government or the health system to come up with a solution, they’d come up with one themselves, and endED was born.

From experience, they knew that a priority for those battling eating disorders and their families was to have a safe, peaceful environment to go to for treatment and recovery; a home-like facility with access to specialist clinical care and the counselling of others with lived experience who they could relate to.

When they found the perfect 25-acre property in the Mooloolah Valley, they put their own home up for sale to finance its purchase. Thanks to the help of more than 30 local businesses; some very generous people they met along their journey, including Roy and Nola Thomson and B.A.Murphy; and with  funding from local and federal governments, their dream of building a stand-alone residential facility became a reality. ‘Wandi Nerida’ is a sanctuary that will ultimately save many lives, and will hopefully be a model for many more of its kind to come.

In December 2020, endED launched the endED House of Hope, a property in Woombye where three support groups are held each week. The House of Hope will also become a transitional house for those exiting the residential facility. 

endED also recently opened the endED Espresso Bar at Buddina where Community, Connection and Compassion strongly underlie the endED ethos.

The profits from the espresso bar go directly back to the charity to support the employment of their recovery coaches and the space provides valuable work experience for those who have been supported by endED and are now ready to venture back into the workforce.

The volunteer staff are also parents and carers that endED has supported through their own journey.

endED lived-experience eating disorder recovery coaches like Millie Thomas, Laura  Chamberlain and Cass Kowitz currently play a vital role in the lives of many eating disorder sufferers across the coast by ensuring that all their clients are engaged with a multidisciplinary team consisting of at least a GP, dietician and a psychologist. They also provide invaluable support to eating disorder sufferers who are in the hospital system.

At present there is no specialised psychological support provided by the hospital for these patients. The endED coaches visit the hospital providing support, guidance and most importantly, social connection. In an effort to educate the general public and dispel the many myths and stigma that unfortunately still surrounds eating disorders, endED has recently launched the End Eating Disorders podcast, which aims to do just that. The commitment and genuine empathy of everyone involved in this organisation comes from a place of understanding and a desire to do what they can to stop others suffering in the same way they have at some point in their lives.

And with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and an annual death rate that far exceeds the National road toll, endED’s many facets lend help and hope to countless families who ED has come to live with.

Want More?

Listen to our interview with endED founder Mark Forbes on our “Everyone has a Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa” podcast on all podcast platforms. 


Event: Talk with Matt Golinski

Venue: endED Espresso Bar, Buddina

The first in a series of inspiring talks designed to connect the community through compassion featured our very own Matt Golinski sharing his passion for creating cuisine using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients as well as his inspiring personal story of survival and achievement through adversity.


About the Author /


Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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