Listen to Davorka Monti
Davorka is a whirling dervish whose passion, creativity and attention to detail are matched by thoughtfulness, depth, and rigorous introspection. Born in Croatia and raised in Canada, she has personal experience via her parents of the challenges of being a newcomer to Canada, and experience of being the child adapting to a culture different from her parents'. Consequently she has a special lens and sensitivity to all marginalized populations. She has evolved from being an extremely quiet and shy person to a sparkling and influential one!
As part of the management team at Healthy Start for Mom & Me as coordinator, supervisor, occasional cook and bottle-washer, facilitator, encourager, problem-solver (and the list goes on), Davorka's impact is profound and inspiring. Healthy Start works with vulnerable populations from multiple sites in practical and woman-centred, non-judgmental ways and her empathy, vision and do-it-now and do-it-practically approach are invaluable. The people she supervises know her to be clear, direct, caring, and productive.
One example of Davorka's vision and tenacity was production of a 2-in-1 recipe and parenting book in 2007. Like a dog with a bone and pregnant with her 3rd child, Davorka put the final touches to the text, went home, and then had her baby son just hours later! She is a fountain of ideas for practical teaching in the community and collaborates easily with others, an example being her involvement in a multi-partnered production of a much-lauded video titled "Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods". Her impact on others - dietitians and everyone else - is by virtue of her energy, practical and creative ideas about health promotion, can-do attitude, and genuine love of food and nutrition. She is a demystifier, straight-talker, and juggler par excellence!
A career in dietetics has afforded her the opportunity to take science (and make it art) and relationship and plain talk to reach at-risk families - and still focus on food!