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Butterfly Research Institute (BRI)

The Butterfly Research Institute (BRI) was established in late 2009, to break down the barriers that inhibit collaborative, multi-disciplinary research into eating disorders, by establishing a research institute ‘without walls’, to take a leading role in determining the future direction and coordination of research in eating disorders and body image in Australia.

Butterfly also supports ongoing research into the areas of body image and eating disorders.

National Collaborative Project Grants

13 applications were received from national collaborations (several with international collaborators).

Applications were reviewed by an expert team of researchers, and three of these projects were selected and funded.  The funded projects listed below are ongoing.

Identification & Early Intervention
Research Team:  Prof. Helen Truby, A/Prof Terry Haines, Laura Tirlea
University / Institution: Monash University
Project: Evaluating the efficacy of the school based program “Girls on the Go!” to improve self esteem, body satisfaction and physical activity in a multicultural environment: a randomised control trial

Treatment Standards & Strategies 
Research Team: Prof. Jan Russell, Prof. Janet Treasure, Dr. Adam Guastella, Prof. Ulrike Schmidt, Dr. Kate Tchanturia, Dr. Sarah Maguire, Mr. Dean Carson
University / Institution: University of Sydney (USYD)
Project: The effect of oxytocin on cognitive rigidity and social anxiety in eating disorders: A randomized placebo controlled trial of the effects of oxytocin in the treatment of anorexia nervosa

Promotion & Prevention
Research Team: Dr Simon Wilksch, Prof. Tracey Wade, Prof. Susan Paxton, Dr. Bryn Austin, A/Prof. Susan Byrne
University / Institution: Flinders University
Project: Prevention across the spectrum: Can we simultaneously reduce the risk of both eating disorders and obesity?

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Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  


We can help you with knowing when to talk to your friend and what to say. ›

Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  


We can help you with recognising issues and what to do. ›

Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

We have a range of advice & resources ›