New ACT Residential Treatment Centre for eating disorders

Work is progressing on Canberra’s new Residential Treatment Centre for eating disorders. The centre will provide a home-like environment for people with eating disorders to live while they receive the support they need to recover.

The establishment of the centre is supported by a Commonwealth Government commitment of $13.5M over three years. The first funding instalment for this was provided to the ACT in the 2021/22 financial year.  

‘Wandi Nerida’ in Queensland, accredited as the first residential facility for eating disorders in Australia, is operated by the Butterfly Foundation
Pictured above: ‘Wandi Nerida’ in Queensland, accredited as the first residential facility for eating disorders in Australia, is operated by the Butterfly Foundation.

About the centre

The ACT Residential Treatment Centre for eating disorders will be a therapeutic service that will provide specialist, intensive nutritional and psychological treatment in a residential setting which simulates a supportive home-like environment. 

The 24/7 specialist service is a new service for the ACT, and once operational will complement other eating disorder services in the territory such as the eating disorders program, the early intervention service (to be established in second half of 2022), the clinical hub (to be operational from January 2022), primary care and inpatient services. 

The centre is also intended to be used as step-up/step-down service for clients transitioning between services as appropriate.

Progress to date

ACT Health has identified a preferred location (Block 3 Section 17 Coombs) for the Residential Treatment Centre, and ACT Health is currently going through the early due diligence processes for this site. 

The new Centre is proposed for the eastern portion of the site. The location in Coombs has been chosen to be close to nature reserves with an outlook over green space and a pond, but also in a residential setting. This will ensure the centre offers an environment for clients that is as calming and home-like as possible. 

In November 2021, Major Projects Canberra released an open tender for the initial architectural concept designs. These concept designs will present a high-level overview of the look and feel and overall design of the building, and will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders in the sector.

Next steps

ACT Health will engage a range of stakeholder on the design of the Centre, including people with lived experience of eating disorders and the Coombs community. 
Following the completion of the concept designs, an Estate Development Plan will be developed to sub-divide the block, with the rest of the block to be retained for future community use. In the first half of 2022 the ACT Government will consult with the Molonglo community about the remainder of the site. 

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing an eating disorder or body image concerns, contact the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (ED HOPE) or visit

Visit our page on the Eating Disorders Program for more information about eating disorder services currently available in the ACT. 

Page last updated on: 18 Nov 2021