Georgie Stephen is the Winner of Emerging Naturopath of the Year (Sprout, Australian Naturopathic Summit) 2018. She has just completed her Naturopathy degree at the Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT), part of the Torrens University network, and already has a position at the Contagious Enthusiasm Wellness Centre. Georgie also offers services on at Melbourne Child Development and Healthful Clinic, which can be found on her business page.
Before enrolling herself to SSNT’s Fitzroy campus, she was unsure about her career choices. However, what she was absolutely certain about was her burning passion for helping others and how she loved growing up with a holistic lifestyle immersed in natural health. Thus, she decided it was only natural to put both two and two together by pursuing a meaningful career in natural therapies where she could make a difference to people’s lives and the first step was to enrol in SSNT’s industry leading, clinical focused Naturopathy Degree. Her journey is unique, yet familiar for those who struggle to connect two passions.
Here we interview Georgie to share her inspiring experience.
What inspired you to follow your passion and pursue a career in Naturopathy?
I have always had a fascination with health and nutrition, going all the way back to childhood. My mum brought my four brothers and I up in a very natural and holistic way, and although she has no naturopathic training and has never seen a naturopath herself.
It took me many years and lots of twists and turns. In fact, until about 2 months before I enrolled in the degree at SSNT, I had never heard of naturopathy and had no idea what a naturopath even did! During these meandering years, I tried my hand at countless new jobs and fields of study, searching for something that I was never quite able to find.
Looking back on it now, I can see that I was on a journey, jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone collecting new skills, understanding my aptitudes and interests, and finally realizing how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I hit lots of dead ends, but they only served to strengthen my resolve to keep searching.
Do you love what you do now?
I absolutely love what I do! Naturopathy ticks all the boxes for me – as much as it is a holistic system of health care, it is a holistic job as well.
In any one day, it includes science, nature, nutrition, research, helping people, problem solving, being creative, running a business, collaborating with other professionals, and, of course, constant learning.
But ultimately, what I love about naturopathy is the fact that is offers people a personalised approach to health care – there is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach in naturopathy because the very essence of thinking naturopathically is holistic and therefore each person must be considered individually.
How did the university prepare you for the workforce?
One way I have felt immersed in the industry in through my work with VicHerbs. I have been a volunteer on the VicHerbs committee for over 3 years, which has meant that I’ve formed strong connections with the local community – something that has been hugely valuable after graduating and leaving the tight knit, supportive community of SSNT
Student clinic – as equally exciting as it is terrifying! Clinic was an endless series of challenges, but also incredibly an incredibly rewarding and transformative experience – I think I learned just as much about myself as I did about practicing naturopathy during my time in there. The opportunity to see real clients while still wearing your naturopathic training wheels and to have an experienced supervisor helping you through the whole process was invaluable.
What was the best part about the campus and studying here?
The campus life, hands on experience and industry network! Studying at SSNT helped me to grow into a confident and capable naturopath, and has opened up more doors for my career than I ever imagined. I spent some time involved in the PASS program as a facilitator, which I loved and where I made many of my good friends.
If I really had to nail down my absolutely grateful for would probably be the friendships I made along the way.
As part of my third year, I also really got a valuable learning experience from my Clinical Studies. I completed my observational hours in three different clinics, practicing and applying my skills on real clients. I was lucky enough to be selected to complete the Fertile Ground Health Group internship in 2016 – a three-month intern program they generously offer to final year student. SSNT is really respected in the natural therapies community and so it really helped me access the opportunities I needed to succeed in the field!
Clinic practicum experience is truly invaluable for students – the feeling of being able to weave together many years of hard work to put theory into practice was the best. The practical, hands on learning of student clinic and the expert guidance of the supervisors, who all have industry experience and practitioner experience themselves definitely contributed to this.
If you could share your experience with prospective students, what would it be?
Only to say, for any current students out there, your career has already started so make the most of every moment at school and start taking steps towards your goals now!
Although I didn’t realise it at the time, there is absolutely no way that I would have had the opportunities that I’ve had in the last year or have been nominated for the Sprout award (let alone win it) without having laid down the ground work for years while I was studying.
START YOUR HEALTH JOURNEY AT OPEN DAY – TORRENS UNIVERSITY, ACNT & SSNT
Torrens University Australia collaborates with leading natural therapies colleges, the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT) and the Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT), to bring you industry reputable nutrition and natural therapies courses that will pave the way for a meaningful career making a difference to peoples lives.
At Torrens, we believe that following a career you are passionate about will lead to a lifetime of loving what you do.
If you are interested in a career in nutrition, naturopathy, western herbal medicine, Chinese medicine and clinical myotherapy, join us at our next Open Day to learn about our courses and see how we can help you pursue a rewarding career in health.
Find out more at Open Day, Saturday 19th January 2019!
- Meet inspiring Students, Alumni, Academics & Industry Experts
- Tour our campuses, labs and clinics
- Join interactive naturopathy, herbal and nutrition workshops
- Speak to Course and Career Advisers about online options, entry requirements, FEE-HELP, pathways, more
- Get advice about career prospects and industry
- Get help with your enrolment or application – do your application on-site in 15 minutes! Register now, click here.