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Archana has been with The Benevolent Society for nearly two years. She works in our Disability Operations program and her job is to provide nutrition support and advice to clients with intellectual and physical disabilities. Clients can access her services through the NDIS, private funding, or the Commonwealth Continuity of Support program.
Archana earned her qualifications in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Bombay in India. She worked as a dietitian in India before moving to Australia and passing her Qualifying Bridging Examination for Dietitians. She has been an Accredited Practising Dietitian for over 20 years, having worked with Ageing, Disability and Home Care for the past 11 years as a Community Dietitian, and with The Benevolent Society for nearly 2 years. Archana specialises in providing Nutrition services for physically and intellectually challenged clients, including children and adults.
Archana joined The Benevolent Society as a way of giving back to the community.
“I am very passionate about dietetics,” said Archana
"The values and ethics of The Benevolent Society really suit my values. Here, I can provide a humanitarian service to clients with intellectual and physical disabilities."
Archana visits people with disability in varied settings including schools, group homes, family homes and day placements, where she conducts a nutritional assessment. She chats to her clients, family members and staff, offering advice, support and suggestions to improve food and drink intake. For each of her clients, she creates a personalised meal plan. There is never a one-size-fits-all solution.
Archana monitors her clients regularly for several months until they achieve their goals, which could be weight loss, weight gain, or better management of chronic conditions like diabetes.
Sometimes, clients, staff and their families are unsure what to expect from a dietitian and may be nervous about their first meeting with Archana. But Archana is great at building rapport and trust. She is open and friendly, putting everyone at ease and demonstrating the value of a dietitian’s services.
Archana loves to see the ‘ripple effect’ that her services have.
“Once I attend a group home to see a client, most of the time, I get additional referrals for all the other clients residing at the group home too.”
Archana takes great pleasure in seeing her clients make huge improvements, not just in their eating habits but in their quality of life. Archana remembers working with Ben*, a 16-year-old non-verbal autistic boy.
Weighing 140kgs, Ben’s goal was to lose weight safely and effectively. Archana worked closely with Ben to reach this goal, and at the close of her service, he weighed 115kgs.
Archana also describes the success story of another autistic client, Mitch*. Mitch was just five years old when Archana began working with him. Mitch was underweight, non-verbal and had a very limited food intake. Archana provided dietetic support by educating Mitch and his mum on nutrition and nutritional supplements.
“With regular support to mum and Mitch, he now is growing very well, is now eating a wide variety of foods, is most polite and eager to chat about the games he plays at school.”
Archana is just one of our incredible practitioners at The Benevolent Society. Our team of specialist disability support experts includes behaviour support specialists, physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, support coordinators and speech pathologists. We provide disability services across NSW, ACT, SA and the Gold Coast.
Call us on 1800 236 762 to find out more.
*Names have been changed