Acknowledgements

Life has shown me an abundance of kindness, as well as, and in spite of, an abundance of trauma.
Though the trauma and stress of my mental illnesses and the issues that cause them are important,
so too is recognising the things that make my life worth living, the people who keep me going,
the treatments that keep me fighting.
 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to: 
Kelly Hussey-Smith, Alan Hill and Angela Blakely for their help and support with immeasurable, from when it began in university and even after I graduated, up to this day.
Thank you to John Rodsted for his assistance, support and for his amazing words on the book. He was generous enough to write the foreword for immeasurable and it is an amazing piece of writing, reflecting on the role of photojournalism and our part in social change. 
Thank you to Suzanne Abraham, Sarah Gilliland, Yvette Greenhalgh and Malcolm Foxcroft for providing their expert opinions on the treatment of eating disorders for use in immeasurable. Their perspectives are invaluable insights into treatment and the nature of the illness. Thanks also to those who considered writing statements (you know who you are). 
 
 
Personal influences
 
When I first entered treatment, it was thanks to one amazing woman, Melissa Hogan. She saw me struggling and she ensured that I got help. It has been more than a decade since the day I first opened up to her, and still she inspires, encourages and supports not only me but also her beloved family and friends, and anyone else who enters her life. She is a truly selfless individual and I am so proud to count her amongst my friends. 
 
The second woman in this process was Dr Dorothea Eburn, a general practitioner I saw upon Melissa's urging. She is a gentle and understanding woman and doctor, she has always gone above and beyond to help me with my physical and mental health. I still see her to this day, on the occasional trips I make back to my hometown of Dorrigo, NSW, and every time she is just as caring, just as committed to helping me and all of her patients. She is the epitome of the stereotypical small-town doctor that everyone loves and looks up to, and yet she is completely unique.
 
Third in line is Tracey Ingram, once my gymnastics coach, who is now one of my best friends. She took me in and made me feel like part of her family, not only is she an amazing coach, but she is also an inspiring, caring and amazing woman, mother, friend, daughter, wife... She and her husband Dean were my friends, mentors and protectors when I visited and again when I moved into their neighbourhood after finishing school. They, and their (now) three amazing children are constant reminders of love and care, laughter and adventure.
 
Due to Tracey's help, I was able to see Yvette Greenhalgh, a clinical psychologist who impressed me from the first time I met her. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience, the strongest bullshit meter I've ever experienced and an amazing determination, coupled with a stong skillset that enables her to problem-solve and assist me in coming to better, healthier decisions for myself and for others. I think, out of all people, she has experienced the most of my shenanigans, but she has dealt with everything I dished out with infinite patience and is still someone I see professionally when I am in the area. 
She was also kind enough to provide a short statement for immeasurable about the treatment of eating disorders, despite describing herself as a 'talker not a writer'. 
 
 
Of course, I need to thank my family. I could never fully explain to an outsider what my extended family is like, there are too many words, none of them concise enough, to describe my parents, my siblings, my many cousins, aunts, uncles and of course my beautiful grandparents. Family Christmases were a melee of opinions, voices, creativity, activity and adventure. So too were our annual trips to beachside locations. Primarily the amazing town of Woolgoolga. 

There was always spirited debate among the adults, with the older children pitching in when they felt bold. These debates were educational, interesting, opinionated, considerate (sometimes), and always informative. I say debate through the rose coloured glasses of family love, to an outsider our debates may have seemed closer to full-out verbal beatings at times. My extended family create the most creative, intelligent, determined and hard-working individuals I have ever seen in such large numbers. I am constantly inspired, awed and occasionally a little cowed by their brilliance. 
 
My sister, Fiona, is the most determined individual I have ever met. All my life she has inspired me, there is no task she cannot complete, with the highest level of achievement. Time and time again I have watched her set her mind to some new task, and seen the fiery passion in her eyes. On top of this, she is also generous, hilarious, caring, beautiful... and so much more.
 
My oldest brother, Simon, is an individual who would give you the shirt of his back, every time. He is a fierce protector of those he loves, his thirst for information and unquenchable curiosity has consistently enriched my life. Because of his career, he is the sibling I have spent the most time with, as he often came home for months at a time to embark on ambitious (and consistently successful) projects for his work. As a result, I have come to understand his inner drive better than you might expect of siblings a decade apart. He is kind, loving, protective, inquisitive and generous. A special thanks goes out to him for putting up the money to buy a number of promotional copies of immeasurable, which will be used to create support for the project and hopefully help in gaining commercial publication.
My second oldest brother, Angus, taught me to fight furiously for myself, he is a tower of strength and knowledge. While he is as determined as Simon and Fiona, he goes about his achievements in an unperturbed bustle of forward-movement. Often I find he has achieved an impressive new goal, in work or his personal life, without me even realising he was aiming for it. He effortlessly transforms between social (and hilarious) discussion, intelligent and thoughtful discussion on issues of personal or national importance.
All three of them, when I was young enough for us to all be in the same house, were these impossibly resourceful wells of knowledge. I looked up to them then and I still do now. Though they are three amazing and unique individuals, they all share traits highly valued by myself and my family; generosity, loyalty, intelligence and a thirst for knowledge. This also extends to my sister-in-law Ann and my brother-in-law Scott, Angus' wife and Fiona's husband respectively. Both have fitted seamlessly into our family and I love them unconditionally.
 
To my parents... who have loved me the longest, seen me at my best and dealt with me at my worst.
They are both creative, curious, intelligent and fiercely determined. Both have skills galore, personally and professionally. They have raised me, instilled in me a fierce sense of protection, towards all living creatures and to all humans. Both have strong opinions towards global issues, including feminism, the welfare of our planet and global warming, the treatment of animals and humans in Australia and the world. They are both readers with a ferocious appetite and thus prove to be far superior to google when I need answers to something.
What can I say? They're my parents- I credit them with who I am today. 
 
To learn more about my father and his books:
http://www.ian-irvine.com/ 
 
To learn more about my mother and her art:
http://www.annesetchings.com/
 
 
There are people who have completely changed me for the better in the last few years, and although I haven't known them as long as some others, they still mean the world to me and I would be remiss if I didn't mention their influence on me.
 
To Deborah Jones, my person, my best friend, my protector and defender, my confidante. I met her when we were both in hospital for our eating disorders in 2010. We got along well from the start, sharing a love of pranks, dark humour, intense and thought-provoking discussion on anything and everything. We shared a number of admissions together and subsequently went on to stay close after leaving treatment. She is the person who helped me when I began immeasurable, spending endless hours listening to me and supporting my wild ideas for projects and photoshoots. Four years after meeting, we are still best friends, and I treasure our friendship and her advice more than the most precious gold.
 
In 2012 I began treatment in Brisbane, and the first real steps in my recovery.  This began with the tireless effort and care of my doctor, Jane Robertson, and continued with her by my side and a new treating doctor as well; Malcolm Foxcroft. 
I could never have imagined that meeting Jane would be the start of my getting better, that through her help and care I could begin to open up about my past and in turn, recieve expert specialist help from her and Malcolm. This treatment is what truly started to make a difference in the way my mind works. Now, I find it is less vicious, my self-loathing and guilt have lessened and will continue to improve over time. 
This happened because they did what many intensive treatment programs for eating disorders fail to do; they treated not just the physical symptoms of starvation, but also addressed the trauma which caused the eating disorder behaviours in the first place. I have made immense progress forward in dealing with the sexual assault I suffered as a teenager, progress I never thought possible.
Unfortunately, last year I was again a victim (survivor) of sexual assault, which set my treatment back and made my journey a little longer. However, this has lit a fire in my belly, a raging inferno that is driving me towards the defence of sexual assault survivors and their treatment in the hospital and justice system, not only in Australia but also overseas. This fiery passion is perhaps an indication of my next project to come...
 
Keep a look out for Kintsukuroi (my next project) in the next few years...
 
x
elle