Latest on NHAA projects and how to get involved
24th May, 2022

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David Casteleijn


5 minutes with David Casteleijn: MHSc (Herbal Medicine) (UNE), BHSc (Naturopathy) (ECNH), PhD Candidate (UTS), RN (RBWH)


What led you to being involved with NHAA Association? (apart from being voted in, well done!)

I had been to quite a few of their conferences and found that they were the main ones I would look out for and make the effort to travel for.  There always was a certain comfortable, inclusive and supportive vibe about them.  I am also passionate about how amazing the Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine profession is and what we have to offer and keen to promote and develop the profession and truly believe that the NHAA is the best place for this to happen.  


 What are some of the projects NHAA are working on at present?

I feel like I joined the board at the ideal moment for helping to developing the profession, as I have been able to be part of the process of bringing the Health Technolony Assessment – Naturopathy (HTA) to life.  The World Naturopathic Federation identified that a HTA was essential to unite the profession around the world and bring together the evidence needed to show governments and policy makers around the world that naturopathy is not only important as a health care practice, but complements and supports the work they are attempting to do with regards to prevention and the many non-communicable diseases. We are so proud to have funded this international project, and so proud of the many Australian naturopaths and herbalists who contributed to the HTA. It really is a gift to the profession.

The review of the review (NTREAP) for the return of Private Health Rebates continues and when you look at the incredible level of evidence collated in the HTA, that gives me great confidence. Rebates will be reinstated for naturopaths and herbalists but there is always more work to do and with the research we now have in the HTA that has also helped us identify the gaps, and practitioners can help continue that work through connecting with practice-based research networks (PRACI) and looking out for research you can be involved with.  The summit is just around the corner and there will be some wonderful opportunities to connect and I am very much looking forward to that. We look forward to bringing more education to the naturopathic and herbal medicine community as well. Stay tuned for this!


What are the benefits for being a member of an Association?

There are essential things that being a member of an Association gives you, including access to your TGA exemption for extemporaneous dispensing and access to practitioner only products (and of course access to The NHAA only represents naturopaths and herbalists, our advocacy is focused only on these modalities. Being a member of the World Naturopathic Federation means the Association and it’s members are connected to the global naturopathic community. We also have a great new website which has a practitioner search tool giving our members great exposure on the internet, and discounted conference registration for events like the Herbal Medicine Summit this week!


How can a member get more involved with their Association?

The NHAA I think is known for their ‘Chapters’. We have a number down the eastern seaboard and in Adelaide and they provide an important place for practitioners to come together and talk about all things herbs and naturopathy. There is also the opportunity to join one of the committees and this gives a good insight into the way the Association works but also gives you the opportunity to be involved in an area which interests you and you would like to be part of steering the profession forward. We are also in the process of developing the policy framework around ‘Special Interest Groups’ and have two key groups we wish to facilitate in the near future - a specific ‘Special Interest Group’ for herbal medicine and another focusing on the environment.  I would encourage people interested in these areas to look out for these taking flight towards the end of the year. And of course, come along to the Herbal Medicine Summit in Sydney on May 28th and 29th. We hope to see everyone there.


Thank you David for sharing this update.