You don’t look disfigured! Local woman pioneers into the world of facial disfigurement

March 8, 2024 BY

Dr Zali O’Dea established Karibu Anawim in 2015 to help people with facial disfigurement.

Who is Dr Zali O’Dea?

DR Zali O’Dea is a survivor of a car accident as a newborn.

She is the Founding Director, Principal Counsellor and Educator at Karibu Anawim which means “Welcome to The Way of Victory”.

Like many of us, she knows adversity and has overcome many unexpected hurdles.

Hurdles such travelling through life living with facial disfigurement and experiencing a traumatic workplace injury leaving Zali with ongoing nerve pain and unable to resume her original love of teaching.

Since the unfortunate workplace injury, Zali has not sat around feeling sorry for herself, rather, she saw a need and re-educated herself with a Masters in Counselling providing specialist support as a counsellor for people living with facial disfigurement as a counsellor with lived experience.

Dr Zali has completed her Doctorate raising awareness on what are the social and emotional experiences of people living with facial eye disfigurement and their family members.

She is a published researcher, counsellor, mum, advocating for her community.

Facial Disfigurement and Karibu Anawim

Living with facial disfigurement is often isolating and socially disabling, with much of society shunning, avoiding or staring.

Body image is always an issue with everyone at some point of our life’s journey.

Recent Australian research found that 77 per cent of young Australians report body image distress.

Living with a facial disfigurement is an extra addition to the ordinary challenges of life with one in one hundred and eleven people living with a facial disfigurement.

Some facts about people living with facial disfigurement are:

     they are five times less likely to gain employment

     less likely to choose to have a child and

     may experience increased levels of depression and anxiety

Because of their disfigurement whether it is seen as ‘slight’ or ‘severe.’

It is vital research is conducted within this area with insider perspective as well as support services to be able to refer people to.

Dr Zali O’Dea established Karibu Anawim in 2015.

Karibu Anawim provides support for those who live with facial disfigurement as well as support for professionals gaining knowledge about the ongoing and often grinding issues relating to facial disfigurement.

Support living with Facial Disfigurement

For those who live with facial disfigurement, Karibu Anawim offers counselling and support groups.

This year, Karibu Anawim has embarked upon a weekly ‘15 mins at Dr Zali O’Dea’s desk’ which is streamed live across many platforms each Friday at 10am.

This is the setting where Dr Zali discusses relevant topics and research.

This new program is accessible to everyone and Karibu Anawim has had excellent feedback to date on all their programs.

Support for Professionals

Professionals seeking help, whether an employer, medical professional or education specialist, Karibu Anawim offers relevant help on their website, professional development sessions, consultancy, as well as access to relevant scholarly publications of Zali’s via Karibu Anawim’s website.

If you or your loved one live with a facial disfigurement and would like to know more about how Dr Zali and Karibu Anawim can assist then in Zali’s words, “please connect with us, you don’t need to travel this path alone!”

Ways to connect with Karibu Anawim

Email [email protected], website karibuanawim.com, Facebook facebook.com/karibuanawim.