Welcome to the NHAA

Founded in 1920, we are Australia’s oldest professional association of complementary therapists. Representing Western herbalists and naturopaths, we are the only national professional association specifically concerned with the practice and education of Western herbal medicine (WHM) in Australia. Our Vision is to:

  • Enable practitioners and the practice of herbal and naturopathic medicine to become fully integrated into the primary healthcare system in Australia;
  • Make herbal and naturopathic medicine accessible to all;
  • Maintain the integrity of the profession;
  • Continue to promote the standards and quality of education, of the profession;
  • Make greater career opportunities and research pathways for herbalists and naturopaths;
  • Continue the integration of traditional medicine and evolving science.   

We have a range of membership options for professionals, interested parties and students and our members have access to great resources, our online discussion forum, professional guidance and more!

We also work to connect the public with our highly trained practitioners through our Find A Practitioner service. 

Latest News

AGM outcomes

AGM 2018 – it’s a wrap

The AGM was held last Monday, 22 October 2018. Thank you to the members who attended, sent in a Proxy and who sent in their apologies. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

For those of you who were unable to attend please find below the President’s Report presented at the AGM, and also a copy of the draft minutes of the AGM 2018.

Prior to the election, a motion to simplify the election procedure was proposed and accepted by members in attendance.

The proposal was that where there are more nominees than positions available and an election is required, members only need to vote for their preferred candidates for those positions. Those candidates who receive the highest number of total votes will be elected to the NHAA Board. If there is a tie for the last elected Director position another single vote will be required.

2018-2020 NHAA Board of Directors

As a result of a ballot the elected candidates to fill the four (4) Executive Director positions are as follows;

  • Tobey Pinder
  • Shona Toranto
  • Sally Mathrick
  • Hannah Boyd

Congratulations! The above will join the 2018-2019 Board of Directors; Natalie Cook, David Casteleijn, Diana Bowman & Kathleen Murphy.

Thank you to all members who were nominated and to those members who nominated you. The strength of the NHAA is in its members and their commitment to the growth and future of the Association.

The Board (and subcommittees) are made up of passionate members who have a broad set of skills, knowledge and expertise. Board profiles and photos will be updated on our website in the next month.

If you have further questions about the 2018 AGM please contact Andrew Hamilton, Executive Officer, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2018 Annual General Meeting - Mon 22 Oct

Information for Members

Upcoming Annual General Meeting

Our Board elections will take place at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 22 October 2018 at 7.30pm (AEDT). The AGM will be conducted online via a webinar to allow more members to participate.

Daylight savings time impact

Please find below a break-up of the AGM time for each State as a reminder to login:

  • NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS – 7.30pm
  • SA – 7.00pm
  • QLD – 6.30pm
  • NT – 6.00pm
  • WA – 4.30pm

* Webinar *

To join the webinar, please click on the following link:


Enter your email address and name in the boxes in the lower part of the screen and press the JOIN button immediately next to the boxes.

Proposed Constitutional Change to simplify the election procedure 

Following the challenges experienced in the exhaustive ballot election process at the 2017 Annual General Meeting, the NHAA Board is proposing to simplify the election process so it is easier for members to:

  1. Understand; and
  2. Elect their preferred nominee.

The NHAA Board is proposing that where there are more nominees than positions available and an election is required, members only need to vote for their preferred candidates for those positions. Those candidates who receive the highest number of total votes will be elected to the NHAA Board. If there is a tie for the last elected Director position another single vote will be required.

To implement this process requires a change to the current Constitution. The proposed clauses to be changed are outlined in the 2018 Annual General Meeting agenda.

Should the members approve the changes by attending the AGM at the time the meeting is held or by proxy, the election process will proceed via the new simplified format.

Should the members decide not to approve the change in the election process, the NHAA Board will proceed with the election process according to the current exhaustive ballot election process.

Below are the results of the call for nominations to be voted on at the AGM and the Proxy Form is attached for those members who wish to vote but cannot be present at the AGM.


To ensure that we have a quorum can you please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm your attendance.

Nomination Results

2018-2020 NHAA Board of Directors

Five nominations were received to fill four Executive Director positions. The nominations received are as follows:

  • Executive Director - Tobey Pinder

[Board Nomination Form, Candidate Profile Information]

  • Executive Director - Shona Taranto

[Board Nomination Form, Candidate Profile Information]

  • Executive Director - Sally Mathrick

[Board Nomination Form, Candidate Profile Information]

  • Executive Director - Hannah Boyd

[Board Nomination Form, Candidate Profile Information]

  • Executive Director - Dominique LivKamal

[Board Nomination Form, Candidate Profile Information]

Members will be asked to elect four Executive Director positions from these five nominations. Information about each candidate’s career and reasons for nominating are provided above.

The remainder of the Board of Directors for 2018-2019 will be made up as follows:

  • Executive Director - Natalie Cook
  • Executive Director - Diana Bowman
  • Executive Director - David Casteleijn
  • Executive Director - Kathleen Murphy

Appointment of Proxy (optional)

All full, fellow and honorary life members of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia Pty Ltd are entitled to vote. Such members may appoint a proxy to attend the meeting in their place but such proxy must be a full member or fellow or honorary life member of the Association.

Appointment of Proxy form

To appoint a proxy the signed and completed form (attached) must be received by the Secretary by 7.30pm Saturday, 20 October 2018 via:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Poisons Standard Scheduling of Herbs that contain Arbutin

Original release 18 June 2018, UPDATED 24 June 2018

Has there been a recent change to the Scheduling of arbutin and arbutin-containing herbs?

No. The change occurred in 2010. There is a TGA administrative follow-through on previous Scheduling decisions about the chemical substance hydroquinone and related substances found in certain herbs. Arbutin is included as a cross-reference to hydroquinone in the Appendices to the Poisons Standard and is affected by this follow-up. Therefore, the TGA is correct in communicating there is ‘no change’ in the Scheduling of arbutin-containing herbs per se. What has changed, is the TGA’s follow through and further analysis on arbutin-containing herbs, such as Arctostaphylosuva-ursi folium (bearberry leaf) and Turnera diffusa folium (damiana leaf), and how they are to be captured by this rescheduling...

Please click here to read the full resource document.

Naturopaths call for government regulation in the name of public safety

Australia’s oldest complementary medicine association, the NHAA, has renewed its bid for government regulation for the Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine professions.

The Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) has long been, and continues to be, strongly in favour of regulation of the profession of naturopathy and herbal medicine through statutory registration. “The public must have confidence that when someone calls themselves a naturopath or herbal medicine practitioner” said Natalie Cook, President of the NHAA, “the education and licensing requirements exist which not only protect the public but maintain the integrity of our ethical practitioners.”

“This same level of protection is something we take for granted in many health professions like doctors and dentists, but also Chinese Medicine Practitioners. Now naturopaths and herbal medicine practitioners are renewing their call for the same type of government controlled checks and balances through statutory regulation.” Currently the professional associations take on the role of not only providing member support and services, but also that of quasi regulators. There are however many associations with differing standards and requirements and Australia’s most respected practitioners are calling for a national licencing board. Ms Cook said, “The NHAA already ensures its standards are in line with those set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as one of many actions we hope will allow this to happen sooner than later.”

What we have seen this week, is that the current system is clearly not enough and we are calling on the Federal Health Minister to open pathways for new professions to apply to be regulated under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. The professions of Naturopathy and herbal medicine have been assessed against the requirements by previous government reviews, have been found to meet the requirements and yet remain unregistered. Naturopaths in Australia are required to complete a 4 year degree with a strong foundation in biological sciences to meet requirements for practice. However, “When someone with no recognised training in naturopathy is able to claim to be a naturopath and then be found to cause harm in doing so, the whole profession is unfairly tarnished”. The NHAA has been setting standards for the industry since 1920. Protection of title and compulsory registration of practitioners will help ensure these high standards are maintained.

Natalie Cook
NHAA President

Government announces PHI reforms

Today, the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced a series of reforms to private health insurance; http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2017-hunt106.htm. Included in this announcement is the proposed removal of private health insurance providing rebates for natural therapies including herbalism and naturopathy from 2019.

This announcement comes after a recent Review by the former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer on Private Health Insurance for Natural Therapies.

The NHAA exists to support Western Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy practitioners and is strongly against the proposed reform. The NHAA is providing a response to the Minister for Health and is working closely with stakeholders to support a united front on this matter.

As this announcement is breaking news the NHAA is in communication with Government and stakeholders to better understand the detail of these proposed changes. We will provide further updates on this matter.

Natalie Cook

NHAA President

Page 2 of 2