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 to provide specialist, intensive nutritional and psychological treatment in a residential setting which simulates a supportive home-like environment. 

The 24/7 specialist centre is a new service for the ACT which, once operational, will complement other eating disorder services in the territory such as the recently launch Eating Disorders Clinical Hub.

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 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. In February 2022, Collard Clarke Jackson Canberra Pty Ltd (CCJ) was appointed to deliver the early concept design.

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 stakeholders 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.

Construction of the centre is expected to start towards the end of 2022, with anticipated completion at the end of 2023.

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 the Eating Disorders Clinical Hub for more information about eating disorder services currently available in the ACT. 

Page last updated on: 24 Feb 2022