Young Melbourne Research Achieves National Award
Melbourne-based Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Zoe Davidson has today been honoured by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) as recipient of their Young Achiever Award (in memory of Dr Joan Mary Woodhill).
The award recognises leadership and service within the dietetics profession, and is presented to a dietitian who has graduated from their nutrition and dietetic studies within the last 10 years.
Ms Davidson received the award at the DAA National Conference, which is being held in Melbourne this week.
'Zoe has achieved so much in her relatively short career. She is the only Australian dietitian to have completed a PhD in the area of nutrition for neuromuscular disorders and is recognised as a national leader in the area," said DAA President Liz Kellett.
Ms Davidson lectures at Monash University, has published several scientific papers in her specialised area, and regularly presents at conferences, both in Australia and overseas.
'Continued research in the area is crucial as 50 per cent of children with the neuromuscular disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are obese at 10 years old. We are currently developing a weight management program for children with neuromuscular disorders," said Ms Davidson.
Zoe is leading a project to develop best practice guidelines for the allied health assessment and management in DMD. This project with contribute to optimal care being delivered to these children across Australia and New Zealand.
These guidelines are being developed in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council procedures and protocols.
'I was thrilled to receive this award as it is recognition from our peak professional body of my research in a niche area of nutrition. I also hope that the award may shed some light on the nutrition issues these families face on top of the multiple challenges that come with living with a neuromuscular disorder," said Ms Davidson.
Ms Davidson also contributes greatly to her association.
She has been an active member of the Victorian branch of DAA since 2012, and taking up the position of chair in 2014. She has been instrumental in promoting key DAA initiatives at a local level, such as Australia's Healthy Weight Week.
Ms Davidson has also assisted in developing a role statement for dietitians working in disability, to tie in with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and is a member of DAA's Scientific and Social Program Committee for this year's DAA National Conference in Melbourne.
'Zoe selflessly shares her knowledge and helps her colleagues learn how to better manage nutrition in people with neuromuscular disorders. On top of this, she makes a huge contribution to our Association. We are lucky to have such an energetic and enthusiastic member and I'm delighted to acknowledge her with this award," said Ms Kellett.