Scroll down for our latest news items. Articles run in chronological order, with the most recently posted at the top. To search for specific articles, use the search box above.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has now spread to nations worldwide. While Health officials continue to advise that the risk to Australians is low, Naturopaths should inform themselves of the information available from the following credible organizations and be prepared to report and/or advise patients accordingly.
The WHO provides detailed information and daily updates at: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus
The Australian Government Department of Health provides information for a range of situations including for Health Professionals on the use of Personal Protective Equipment and the use of Surgical Masks notably “Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.”
It is also important Practitioners remain careful they do not breach guidelines set out by the TGA around the supply or advertising of good or services in relation to COVID-19 specifically “Any representation made in the advertising of therapeutic goods which refers to novel coronavirus (explicitly or by implication) is a 'restricted representation' and cannot be used without prior approval from the TGA”.
The World Naturopathic Federation has prepared a public document outlining the background, symptoms, transmission, and prevention for the COVID-2019 (Click here to access). The WNF is in the process of preparing a professional guide: "Supportive Care for Respiratory Infections", which the NHAA will post on the member portal when it becomes available.
The NHAA will continue to monitor the progression of the virus and will update members on any significant developments.
The AGM was held last Monday, 21 October 2019. Thank you to the members who attended, sent in a Proxy and who sent in their apologies. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.
MInutes of the meeting will be available in due course.
2019-2021 NHAA Board of Directors
As a result of a ballot the elected candidates to fill the four (4) Executive Director positions are as follows:
Di, Kathleen and David have stepped up for a further 2 year term on the Board and Fiona becomes the Board’s newest member. They will join Shona Taranto, Sally Mathrick, Tobey Pinder and Hannah Boyd who continue on the Board.
Natalie Cook has stood down as President of the NHAA and from the board after reaching the end of her term (as per the NHAA constitution). Natalie has served on the board for six years, so a massive thank you Natalie for all your hard work.
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.
Information for Members
Our Board elections will take place at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 21 October 2019 at 7.00pm (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:
To join the webinar, please click on the following link at the time of the meeting:
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.
2019-2021 NHAA Board of Directors
Six nominations were received to fill four Executive Director positions. The nominations received are as follows:
Executive Director – Diana Bowman
Executive Director – David Casteleijn
Executive Director – Kathleen Murphy
Executive Director – Fiona McCormick
Executive Director – Andrew McLintock
Members will be asked to elect four Executive Director positions from these six nominations. Information about each candidate’s career and reasons for nominating are provided above.
The remainder of the Board of Directors for 2019-2020 will be made up as follows:
Executive Director – Shona Taranto
Executive Director – Tobey Pinder
Executive Director – Hannah Boyd
Executive Director – Sally Mathrick
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.
To appoint a proxy the signed and completed form (attached) must be received by the Secretary by 4.00pm Thursday, 17 October 2019 via:
The NHAA recently made a submission to the TGA on proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard concerning two compounds commonly found in herbal medicine.
The Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling is considering whether to list Sanguinarine as a Schedule 10 substance (prohibited). The Joint Advisory Committee on Medicines and Chemicals Scheduling will be considering whether to amend the entry on Arbutin currently as Schedule 4 (prescription only).
Sanguinarine is the compound found in Black Salve, which has been inappropriately marketed as an alternative treatment for skin cancer.
While the NHAA supports moves to limit the misleading use of Sanguinarine, listing it as Schedule 10 could have the unintended consequence of banning two approved herbal medicine ingredients that contain Sanguinarine in amounts greater than 0.1% - Chelidonium majus and Eschscholzia californica. While these herbs may not always contain more than 0.1% Sanguinarine, literature suggests it is possible. For these reasons the NHAA would like to see further consultation on the amendment to avoid unintended consequences.
In the case of Arbutin, last year the TGA published an update stating that herbs which contain Arbutin in a concentration exceeding 10 ppm are not eligible to be included in Listed complementary medicines in Australia due to scheduling of Hydroquinone in Schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard. This has subsequently had an effect on the availability of medicines and extracts used extemporaneously by practitioners. Of concern is the loss of medicinal herbs with important therapeutic benefits that are commonly used in therapeutic goods or in extemporaneously dispensed preparations, such as Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and Damiana (Turnera diffusa). Since the announcement last year we have lobbied that the understanding of the metabolism of Arbutin and clinical use of the herbs affected should be more closely considered, and an amendment to the Poisons Standard recommended.
This proposed amendment for the Arbutin entry in the Poisons Standard would thankfully see an exception for oral herbal preparations containing 500mg or less of Arbutin. The proposal is also to remove the cross reference of Arbutin to Hydroquinone. We have written in support of this amendment.
The Federal Health Minister’s announcement of a review into natural therapies is a significant step in the campaign to have naturopathy and western herbal medicine private health rebates reinstated.
The review, announced on 7th April, will look at the evidence to support certain therapies, that has emerged since the original review was undertaken in 2014-2015.
We particularly welcome the inclusion of the University of Technology Sydney’s Associate Professor Jon Wardle on the panel, and the decision to take into account the views of those who benefit from natural therapies - the public.
Thank you to everyone who signed our petition - all 9000 of you! - and especially everyone who took the time to write to Health Minister Greg Hunt and their local Coalition members.
Those actions, along with the work of David Casteleijn and the NHAA Board of Directors helped highlight the shortfalls of the private health insurance changes.
With your help, we were able to make a strong case for naturopathy and western herbal medicine to key decision makers in Canberra.
While we were unable to stop the changes from coming into force last week, the Health Minister’s announcement means we can work towards having these modalities removed from the banned list.
There will no doubt be further opportunities for NHAA members to engage in this campaign over the coming year.
We will keep you posted on any developments!
Thank you to everyone who attended our 11th International Herbal and Naturopathic Conference! This was our our biggest event to date, shared with a record number of herbalists, naturopaths, students, academics and integrative health professionals.
The three day event showcased the work of over 60 wonderful presenters, whose diversity and expertise was a testament to the quality of our work in this profession; as students, clinicians, researchers and advocates. (For anyone who couldn't attend, or if you would like to revisit your favourite topics, audio files and notes from the presentations can be ordered by completing and returning this form.)
We were proud to host the World Naturopathic Federation at our conference, who held their general assembly in Melbourne the two days leading up to the NHAA's event. It was a pleasure to have many of WNF's delegates - our international colleagues - share their knoweldge and experience with us. We were also honoured to have the Indigenous health organisation Anangu Ngankari Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC) attend, share their work and run a ngangkari clinic during the conference, for delegates to experience ngankari healing.
Importantly, our 11th International Conference kicked off celebrations for the NHAA's 100th birthday! The dedicated Centenary Room contained the fascinating and detailed timeline of the NHAA, herbal and naturopathic medicine in Australia over the past 100+ years. The Centenary Room was also host to a number of informal, but extremely passionate and galvanising conversations about the future of our profession. Watch this space!
Michelle Boyd, with the 100 year timeline she created (all 10 metres of it!) for the Centenary Room at our 11th International Conference.
Dr Ses Salmond, Ruth Trickey and Dr Sue Evans in discussion in the Centenary Room: how herbal tools have changed over their decades of clinical practice.
Dr Francesca Panzironi and Debbie Walton shared their work with ANTAC and Debbie, together with her brother Max, ran a ngankari healing clinic for delegates during the conference.
Professional Award Winners (L to R): Regina Lasaitis (2019 Notable Contribution to Herbal and Naturopathic Education), Assoc Prof Jon Wardle (2019 Notable Contribution to Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine), Andy McLintock (2019 Student of the Year) and Dr Janet Schloss (2019 Early Career Research Award).
2019 Life Membership was awarded to Dr Ses Salmond and Ruth Trickey.