Gibbons, Kay

  • Kay Gibbons

    Kay Gibbons

    Professional background  

    University of Melbourne B.App.Sc. (Dietetics)

    University of Adelaide Grad. Cert. Food Writing

    Grad. Cert. Adult Education

    Fellow Dietitians Australia

    Member Australian Institute Company Directors

    Fellow Salzburg Global

    Dietetic career

    The professional practice year associated with my degree at the University of Melbourne was based at the Queen Victoria Hospital, with short placements at Peter McCallum Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital.

    I was married three days after finishing my placements and began work with a position at the Queen Victoria Hospital, with the warning ‘I am not sure what concessions you expect; I have not employed a married woman before’.  I am still wondering what advantages I could have claimed. My short experience at the RCH had convinced me that paediatrics was my area of interest, and when a position arose a few months later I started the first of my four ‘tours of employment’ at RCH, where Betty Lynch was Chief Dietitian. I then worked for several years in the Department of Paedatrics, Birmingham with Professor Charlotte Anderson.

    Back to the RCH, with stints at the Alfred and the RMH, for a final long engagement (1991-2015), initially as Chief Dietitian and then as Manager of Nutrition & Food Services. I had recognised that one essential to the dietitian’s role is delivery of quality food & nutrition to hospitalised infants and children.

    During that period at RCH I led the establishment of the Certificate in Paediatric Nutrition & Dietetics, a first in Australia. This time at RCH also included a period as Network Food Service Manager at the Royal Women’s Hospital and included the planning and implementation of the Food Services area at the new RCH.

    As a clinician and a researcher my interest has been in early life nutrition and in childhood obesity; it is now realised that the two are very much related. As a teacher I enjoy sharing my passion for paediatrics, and for the importance of the knowledge of foods and food systems to a dietitian’s role.

    Professional activities

    • President of the Dietitians Association of Australia, 1991-1993 (now Dietitians Australia)  
    • Chair of the Australian Dietetic Council (responsible for accreditation of university dietetic programs in Australia and recognition of overseas qualifications), 2009-2018. Currently a Member of the Accreditation Review Panel.
    • Member of the Course Development Team, Course Management Committee and Course Executive of the Dietetics Program at Monash University, 2003-2009   
    • Honorary Senior Lecturer Monash University. 2005-2012
    • Member, Mentor International Affiliates American Academy Nutrition & Dietetics 2021-2023
    • Director and Chair, Early Childhood Management Services, 2014-2023
    • Alumnus, Leadership Mentor, Leadership Victoria


    Chairman’s Medal, RCH

    Honorary Life Membership, Dietitians Australia

    Since leaving RCH in 2015

    • Professor Food & Nutrition, Victoria University, 2017-2019
    • Adjunct Professor, School of Sport & Health, Victoria University
    • Currently: Scientific Advisor Nutrition, Raising Children Network (MCRI)
    • Currently: Acting Discipline Lead, Master Dietetics, Charles Darwin University. Working on development of a new dietetics program, with a focus on rural and remote practice and on CDU’s vision of developing an Aboriginal and Torrens Strait Islander health workforce.

    Other interests

    Family, music, art, travel

    Food and cooking