NEW FACE: Southern Cross University's new National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine director Professor Jon Wardle. Photo: SCU
NEW FACE: Southern Cross University's new National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine director Professor Jon Wardle. Photo: SCU

SCU announces boss of new naturopathic medicine centre

MEET the man behind Southern Cross University’s new National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine.

With the new naturopathic medicine centre expected to officially open on March 24, SCU has announced the centre’s new director, Professor Jon Wardle.

During his career Professor Wardle has accumulated international lecturing experience and postgraduate qualifications in public health, law and health economics, as well as clinical qualifications in nursing and naturopathic medicine.

He has more than 200 academic publications to his name and works on the editorial board of eight peer-reviewed international academic medical research journals, including as editor-in-chief of international magazine Advances in Integrative Medicine.

Prof Wardle said the new centre aims to deliver groundbreaking research opportunities and unprecedented avenues for collaboration with local, national and international research scientists and industry professionals.

“This is a really good opportunity to change the dialogue and the story around naturopathic medicine, and the role it can play in public health,” he said.

“There’s been this notion that the two (naturopathic and conventional medicine or science/research) can’t coexist and we’re living proof that that’s not true.”

Professor Wardle will be joined by Associate Professor Matthew Leach as the deputy director of education and Associate Professor Romy Lauche as the deputy director of research.

Prof Wardle said he is keen to showcase the new centre’s research, and said the new senior NCNM team have over 500 publications in medical journals.

“We’ve had National Health and Medical Research Council funding and more. The scientific credentials are there in a very big way and we’re applying that to natural medicine,” he said.

SCU vice chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the benefits of basing the naturopathic medicine centre at Lismore’s campus were enormous.

“Being in a region like the Northern Rivers means we have brilliant local networks in this field,” he said.

“We are also supported by a local community who, like the university, are really receptive to trying new things in order to create a healthier future.”

The National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine was created following the personal $10 million donation from the Blackmore Foundation, the private philanthropic trust of Marcus and Caroline Blackmore.

The March 24 opening of the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine will feature a panel discussion on the future of healthcare with special guest speakers Professor Kerryn Phelps, Marcus Blackmore and Professor Jon Wardle.