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 Interview: Kristen Morrison 

Interview: Kristen Morrison

04 Oct, 2010 01:49 PM
Kristen Morrison is the first to admit she’s a hippie at heart. She describes her parents as artistic free-thinkers and this approach was passed down to Morrison in ways that are both subtle (as a girl she made clothes out of curtains and her dad’s old pants) and more recently, astounding.

The former fashion designer has dedicated the past 3½ years to finding natural therapies for the health and wellbeing of her third child, Gryffin. It began within days of Morrison discovering Gryffin had Down syndrome and has become a quest that has enabled her to not only improve Gryffin’s quality of life, but also the lives of children worldwide.

When Morrison was pregnant with Gryffin, she kept a pregnancy diary. It was essentially a styling guide about how you can dress at various stages of pregnancy, but also included natural health tips. Little did she know then, that an interest in well-being would completely overtake the profession she had carved out over 15 years.

Morrison’s fashion career started as a teenager, selling her designs in a couple of Greville Street stores before eventually launching the clothing line Frou Frou. After her two daughters, Bronte and Pelé, were born, she branched into maternity and children’s clothing, opening a boutique in St Kilda.

“And then,” says Morrison, “a complete change of focus”. She motions to Gryffin, busy playing a game on her iPhone. She left her successful fashion business and began researching natural ways for Gryffin to reach his full potential. Her findings led her to a range of supplements, osteopathy, homeopathy, yoga and an allergy-relief technique called NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques). Her and husband Joseph’s efforts (he travelled to Philadelphia to study child brain development) have enabled Gryffin to develop into a healthy, bubbly and alert toddler.

Understandably, the journey has been accompanied by a “phenomenal” rollercoaster of emotions. “Some of the things that I’ve found very, very difficult were things that people might bag me for having found difficult,” Morrison says.

“I know there are people who think I’m in denial because of the approach that I’ve taken. But I’ve found the idea of having a dependant child for the rest of my life absolutely devastating. Apart from the, ‘I’ve given this child this flawed body to live in’, here was the idea that ‘this is it’.”

However, that’s not just it. So impressed by Gryffin’s progress, Morrison decided to write a book about her findings and establish a website,, to show other parents how all kids can reach their full potential through natural therapies.

“I got an email from a lady today, saying she bought the book thinking she might be able to find something that could help her child who has some fine motor challenges,” Morrison says. “She’s now got a whole list of things that’s she’s learnt that she can apply. What a fantastic thing to be able to help people with that. It’s not at all about Down syndrome … the strength is the natural approaches to health. That is really what I’m loving, being able to provide people with a success story.”

Morrison says the experience has opened her mind to the importance of a wider community. “I feel much more open to relationships with strangers than I would have,” she says. “It’s a human problem, we all have the same potential for something like this to happen. It’s a huge leveller. I’ve definitely learnt that I have a whole lot more to give than the fashion industry was ever going to offer me.”


Name: Kristen Morrison

Age: 42

Lives: Carnegie

Occupation: Author

Family: Husband Joseph, children Bronte, 13, Pelé, 12 and Gryffin, 3

Hobbies: Helping other parents

Reading: How to multiply your baby’s intelligence by Glenn and Janet Doman

Listening to: Jay Laga’aia (over and over again!)

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