Gill Stannard is a naturopath and mentor in Sydney, Melbourne and around the world
With over 26 years of clinical experience – Gill is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected naturopaths. In 2014 she relocated to Sydney (Inner West) but regularly holds naturopathy and mentoring consultations in Melbourne, as well as helping people around Australia and the world by Skype.
Interview with Gill
How did you become a naturopath?
As a child I loved growing herbs and was fascinated about health. While living in London in my early 20’s I lucked upon sharing a house with 3 naturopaths. I admired their passion and how they walked the talk. The shared meals were also incredible.
On returning to New Zealand, more than half my lifetime ago, I immediately understood what my path in life would be and moved to Melbourne to study naturopathy at the Southern School of Natural Therapies. I graduated in 1991 with a Diploma of Applied Science (naturopathy), which was the most comprehensive course on offer at the time. The four years of full time study included medical sciences as well as herbal medicine, nutrition and other naturopathic modalities.
What was it like being a naturopath in the 1990s?
The last decade of the twentieth century was such an exciting time for naturopathy and I feel incredibly lucky to have begun clinical practice at the time when traditional naturopathy and evidence-based medicine first came together. I had the best of both worlds, with exceptional herbal mentors and increasing scientific validation of our practice and remedies. This solidified my approach to healing and made me the level-headed practitioner I am today.
I opened City Natural Therapies in the Melbourne CBD shortly after graduating and ran my successful multi-modality clinic for over two decades.
Beginning in 1991, I had the pleasure of sharing my natural healing knowledge and experience as radio 3RRR’s resident naturopath for 20 years. I also lectured both students and medical professionals in Australia and the US, and was employed as a nutrition researcher, health writer and an online wellbeing expert.
Helping thousands of people understand their body and create pathways to feeling better, continues to be a joy.
Who do you work with?
With so many years of naturopathic experience, there are very few presentations I haven’t encountered. I have a “general practice” approach, working with men, women and children of all ages.
I also have the privilege of helping people with complex health conditions, including those recovering from cancer and other life-challenging diseases. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I have particular empathy and knowledge of menopause, stress and gynaecological oncology.
What’s your naturopathic approach to health?
I combine a background in research and counselling, with a passion for traditional naturopathy and an almost geek-like interest in scientific research. My approach is down-to-earth and empathetic, collaborating with you to create a simple and sustainable path back to wellness.
Where possible, my focus is on healthful eating, relaxation, gentle exercise, mindfulness and minimal but effective herbal remedies. As each of us has a unique body and way of living, all treatment plans are individualised. In my experience there is no “perfect” diet or remedy, and health fads come and go. Taking the time to understand your history, as well as current health, means we can find the most appropriate approach to food, exercise and relaxing.
Who do you mentor?
While teaching final year herbal medicine students at SSNT in the 1990’s, I realised the importance of nurturing emerging practitioners, began running groups and individual sessions for new graduates. This service has grown over the years, sharing my unique clinical, business and media experience with a wide variety of health practitioners.
With my extensive clinical experience, one aspect of the mentoring on offer is professional supervision including individualised patient management, case reviews and skills audits. I also provide business mentoring, drawing upon decades of running my own business as both a solo practitioner and a multi-modality clinic owner.
It’s a joy to enable naturopaths, herbalists and complementary health practitioners grow an authentic business they love. In addition to individual mentoring, I also lead retreats in Bali for practitioners and provide online learning.
I feel fortunate to have a such a long and enriching career. I look forward to assisting you on your own wellbeing or business journey.