Dietitian bites into new role

Lily Ramage is thriving in her new role at Grampians Health’s Stawell campus.

One of two new allied health professionals to start working at the campus in February, the effervescent dietitian has a healthy attitude to more than just food. The born and bred city girl loves the country life and the great outdoors.

After a two-year stint in Nhill, Lily has joined dietitian Dini Rajaputhra at Stawell where she can still enjoy regional living while being much closer to her connections to Melbourne and Castlemaine as well as her fondness for the Grampians.  

Lily said working in a rural health setting was also more enjoyable and more rewarding than the city. 

“I particularly love the varied caseload characteristic of working as a clinician in a smaller rural town because no day is ever quite the same,” she said. 

“The other big plus is there’s opportunity for career growth by working in a larger organisation that is Grampians Health. We have an ultra-supportive Dietetics team here, some of whom I’ve come to know from my previous role, and I can’t wait to collaborate with my new colleagues.”  

Lily said dietetics was a natural career choice because of her love for food.  

“Dietetics is an attractive blend of science and art,” she said. 

“Humans don’t eat nutrients, we eat food that holds cultural and social significance beyond being mere fuel. I love this intersect. 

“There’s more misinformation than ever filling the ‘health and wellness’ space and I appreciate how confusing it can be for many to locate evidence-based and personalised dietary recommendations. I feel privileged to be able to offer a voice of credible advice among this noise.  

“Food and nutrition are often under-utilised tools we all have at our fingertips to manage all health conditions and life stages.”  

Stawell provides an ideal location for Lily because its many trails help fulfil her love for running and hiking.  

“I’ve really enjoyed exploring the Ironbark forest tracks and I have my morning jog mapped out through Cato and Central Parks.  

“But my happy place is with food – dining out or cooking with produce from my garden. I’m a huge advocate that simple is often best and cooking certainly doesn’t have to be complex to be delicious and nutritious.  

“I love unwinding in the kitchen, taking the time to make a curry paste from scratch or hand-roll fresh cavatelli; cooking for me is a form of meditation.”  

Lily said she didn’t have a favourite food but couldn’t live without strong coffee and dark chocolate or fresh bread with cheese in all its forms.  

“Then I love Greek cuisine – spanakopita packed with dark leafy greens and fresh seafood enjoyed by the coast – and I never go without hummus in my fridge, ideally prepared with local chickpeas and olive oil, plus tahini, lemon, plenty of garlic, herbs and spices.”  

As a dietitian, Lily’s passion is to inspire patterns of eating that not only improve human health but that of the planet.  

“Put simply, a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet involves eating more plant foods, locally-grown, seasonal and minimally-processed where possible and reducing our food waste.  

“Living within the bountiful food bowl that is the Grampians, it’s that much easier to make these healthier food choices. Between seasonal fruit and vegetables, olives and extra virgin olive oil, wholegrains and authentic sourdough bread, legumes and nut- and seed-based dukkah and za’atar spice blends, it’s fair to say the region produces so many nutritious wholefoods that I cannot promote enough.” 

Grampians Health Chief Operating Officer Community and Aged Care Craig Wilding said Lily’s appointment was an important addition to the Stawell allied health team. 

“Lily is not only bringing deep knowledge of her field but also a measured understanding of how rural health is delivered,” Mr Wilding said. 

“She is a great example of how Grampians Health is growing a workforce that is empowered, well-trained, safe and connected.”