Torrens University Naturopathy staff, students and alumni recognised as leaders

Torrens University Naturopathy leaders

Our Torrens University stars dominated at a national industry conference late last month.

The Naturopathic Symposium and Naturopathic Symposium Awards for Excellence are held by peak body Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA).

The Symposium included a curated program of presentations, fireside chats, panel discussions and workshops sharing knowledge from some of the most respected practitioners, academics, industry professionals and experts in the field of Naturopathic and Western Herbal Medicine locally and internationally.

The awards showcase and acknowledge the best of the profession in Australia through research and clinical practice.

Our staff, students and alumni were well represented throughout the conference, and recognised widely at the awards.

“These wins reinforce our standing as leaders in complementary medicine education and we couldn’t be prouder,” said Natalie Cook, Director of Innovation, Industry & Employability, Health & Education at Torrens University.

“A really excellent outcome for some exceptional work.”

“Congratulations to the winners, and all of our finalists,” said Catherine Smith, Program Director Naturopathy & Western Herbal Medicine.

“It is a wonderful achievement to be nominated by peers for outstanding achievements within your field.”

Congratulations to our industry leaders

Anne Digby, Senior Learning Facilitator, Health Science won for Notable Contributions to Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine Education. Anne received many glowing nominations from colleagues, current and former students. She was recognised as a dedicated and caring educator who goes above and beyond for her students, bringing her knowledge and years of experience into the classroom and clinical setting.

Anne also initiated and coordinated a Work Integrated Learning program that took 26 Australian Torrens University Health Science students to Nepal for an immersive and integrative learning experience at the end of 2022. This program is set to take their next cohort January 2024.

Sartorel wins Student of the Year

Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) alumna, Amy Sartorel, won Student of the Year. Amy graduated from her naturopathic degree in 2022 and received a significant number of nominations from former lecturers noting her dedication and academic excellence. Her positive influence was commended by fellow students and colleagues. She is also one of two students who took over the reins of SydHerbs last year and reinvigorated the chapter, as soon as COVID restrictions eased. An extraordinary achievement, especially in her final year of study.

Ian Breakspear and Professor Kerry Bone granted NHAA Life Membership

Ian Breakspear, Senior Learning Facilitator, was granted a NHAA Life Member for having amassed considerable experience and making outstanding contributions to Naturopathy and or Herbal medicine. World-renowned herbalist, Professor Kerry Bone, was also awarded life membership.

Torrens University Learning Facilitators Jackie Arbuckle and Kathleen Murphy and alumni, Rachel Arthur were awarded as NHAA Fellows on the night for distinguishing themselves with their contributions and achievements in Naturopathy or Herbal medicine over their 10 years as a member for NHAA. David Castelijin, former NHAA President and TUA Learning Facilitator, was honoured with the Appreciation Award after five years of tireless work on the NHAA Board.

The conference speaker program featured several Torrens University representatives

Torrens University was incredibly well represented in the conference program with multiple academics and alumni selected for presentations and posters.

Current staff Dr Greg Connolly, Ian Breakspear, Ananda Mahoney, Sandra Villella and Torrens Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Karin Ried also presented on various practice and research related topics. Tracelee Shew and Catherine Smith displayed posters on Telehealth research.

Other presenters included graduates from Torrens University and founding colleges Southern School of Natural Therapies and Australasian College of Natural Therapies included Rachel Arthur, Dr Susan Arentz, Rhiannon Hardingham, Sage King, Kristin Gilmour, Tanya Wells, Monique Evans and Hannah Boyd, who was recently elected as NHAA President.

Four of our recent graduates presented research posters, with Bachelor of Naturopathy graduates Jamie Friend winning best research poster, and Gaby Pavlovic awarded runner up.

“This was a massive achievement as the conference team received over 100 abstracts for consideration,” said Catherine.

“The event showcased the importance of diverse and high-quality clinical and research projects. It also highlighted the strong community and mentorship available to new practitioners and students,” said Catherine. “It is wonderful to be a part of such a passionate and connected herbal and naturopathic medicine profession.

Photo: Dr Greg Connolly, Anne Digby, Natalie Cook, Professor Matthew Mundy - Executive Dean of Health and Education.

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