Our connection to industry is paramount and we are always interested to hear about our alumni’s diverse Naturopathy career paths, which draw on their years of study and work in the Practice Wellbeing Centre. Four Naturopathy graduates share with us their experiences working with vital.ly – a digital platform, a professional health resource and a distribution service for complementary medicines. The graduates are Wendy McLean – Senior Writer and Presenter, Laura Christoforidis – Writer and Presenter, Emma Darnell – Product Database Assistant and Lisa Waayer – Product Technical Assistant at vital.ly
A company for Natural Health practitioners and students – vital.ly
This Sydney-based company aims to ‘strengthen the relationship between consumers, healthcare practitioners and effective Complementary Medicines, ultimately improving health outcomes for everyone’.
Practitioners and students who are members of the vital.ly online platform can access educational materials about Herbal Medicine and related topics, as well as information about products from 150 brands; and practitioners can use the patient-management software to have prescriptions sent directly to their patients.
Established in 2014, the vital.ly team includes Natural Health practitioners, who use their knowledge to further the professional development of students and practitioners around Australia and internationally.
Introducing Torrens University Australia alumni who work at vital.ly
Wendy McLean – Senior Writer and Presenter
‘After graduating, I worked as a Technical Education Associate at BioMedica. My responsibilities included technical support to practitioners, developing clinical tools and guides, technical education resources and practitioner-consultant support materials, as well as creating training material for staff and practitioners.
‘In September 2020, I joined vital.ly as an Educator, researching and creating written educational content for the website. The content targeted practitioners, students and the general public. My role quickly expanded to developing resources for practitioner clinic support, such as patient handouts, representing vital.ly at external and internal events, producing podcasts and webinars, writing articles for journals, and presenting at conferences. I was promoted to Senior Writer and Presenter in May 2022.
‘The research skills I developed at ACNT have been invaluable to my current role and are the foundation of my day-to-day work. In addition, my experience in the Practice Wellbeing student clinic has given me a good understanding of the tools and resources that support practitioners in the clinic, such as handouts, summary sheets and professional updates. I also made many industry contacts during my studies, enabling me to develop a network of Natural Health practitioners and academics I can engage with for podcasts and education articles.’
Laura Christoforidis – Writer and Presenter
Laura Christoforidis studied a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy at Torrens University from 2014–2017.
‘Recently I joined vital.ly as a writer and presenter, which is a dream come true. The skills and knowledge I developed at Torrens University gave me the confidence to pursue the career I’ve always wished for.
‘I had numerous opportunities to develop my research, writing, editing and presentation skills at Torrens, which I have been able to apply to my role. The network I gained through the degree has been a wealth of insight and information for advancing my own Health career. As well, the real-world experience offered during the work placement helped me develop as a practitioner and equipped me with the practical skills to apply to my current position.
‘I feel so fortunate to have had such a great experience at Torrens University.’
Emma Darnell – Product Database Assistant
Emma Darnell completed her Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy in 2017 with ACNT and went on to upgrade and complete her Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy with Torrens University in 2020.
‘In November 2020, I joined vital.ly as a part of the customer experience team, where I was responsible for account applications for students and practitioners, as well as the ongoing compliance for clinical practitioner accounts and White Label product access. I have just moved into a new role with the products database team, as a database assistant. My duties include inputting new products and maintaining information about the current products we stock. I also launched my online practice, Your Best Life Naturopathy, in 2021 and continue to practice part-time.
‘The skills and knowledge I obtained through my studies have been invaluable both in clinical practice and with my role at vital.ly, as they have enhanced my ability to research and analyse data. I was very fortunate to have wonderful lecturers and clinic supervisors through my learning journey, many of whom I’ve spoken to while working with vital.ly!’
Lisa Waayer – Product Technical Assistant
Lisa Waayer graduated from ACNT (now Torrens University) in 2011 with an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy. In 2012, Lisa opened her own clinic, Naturopath 2 U, in solo practice, offering home consults to people living on the rural edges of Western Sydney. She still works part-time in clinical practice.
‘I met with Bill Palmer, founder and CEO of vital.ly, in late 2018, when he asked me to collaborate on a website feature. The following year, I joined the vital.ly team as Office Coordinator, assisting with customer service, screening new brands and new product reviews, events and account applications. Then I moved across to join the vital.ly product team in 2020 when we started to offer practitioner technical support for users via email. This role includes adding new products to the database alongside continuing brand and product reviews and assisting with product maintenance for our database.
‘The in-depth and hands-on student clinic experience at ACNT helped me build a good foundation for creating patient protocols and treatment plans. This has been useful in several different ways, not only when getting Naturopath 2 U off the ground, but also in my current role at vital.ly. It has helped me when breaking down complex patient protocol questions requested by our practitioner users; conducting a new brand or product screening, to assess whether a product is unique to our range or will potentially be useful in offering therapeutic benefit to a patient protocol/value to the clinic; adding a new product to our database or in the maintenance of existing products; summarising or highlighting the product attributes to practitioners. I feel the skills I bring to my role are all practical, current and valuable.’
Every day, Wendy, Laura, Emma and Lisa use the knowledge, skills and networks they developed through their studies in their work at vital.ly.