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Expanding her natural health knowledge in her forties

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 18 September 2023

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Renae Arnold’s life took an unexpected turn after she had a baby at age 43. As someone always interested in health and wellbeing but who struggled with weight loss and mental health, Renae decided it was time she did something she was passionate about to help herself and others.

“I was on maternity leave and at a loose end,” Renae said. “Before the baby arrived, I had been managing a retirement village. I helped my husband with his bee-keeping business and looked after my son, and I felt like I needed to do something for myself. I saw an ad for Endeavour’s short courses and enrolled in the one about Gut Health.”

Going back to study was a big step. “I loved science at school, but I wasn’t particularly academic,” Renae explained. “Growing up in an isolated country town in Western Australia, I wanted to get out into the real world after school. So, when I thought about studying again, I questioned whether I could do it or if I was too old.’”

Things worked out well for Renae. “The short course was easy to navigate and engaging. I found the extra resources interesting and became fascinated with health science.”

“One course was Food and the Environment: From farm to fork. I live on a farm, so I thought I’d probably know most of the content, but I learnt a lot, including relevant and practical skills like how to read food labels properly.”

Renae said it was an easy transition from the short courses to the diploma. “They are structured similarly, and the first year of the diploma is fully online. That was important because I live in regional South Australia and don’t have easy access to campus. And although it’s online, there are live webinars, forums, study groups and different ways to consolidate your learning.”

“Of course, there were strategies I didn’t know because I hadn’t studied for a long time – like how to approach study, take notes or reference properly. But support is available if you reach out to Endeavour or your fellow students.”

Between studying, working a couple of days a week and raising her children, Renae’s days are full. “Studying natural health has taught me how to approach a busy life in a healthier way,” she said. “It’s also given me a focus besides family and work.”

Renae hasn’t decided yet what she will do with her new knowledge. With business experience and a desire to help others, she may move into clinical practice. For now, she’s feeling her way, fascinated by learning about health in general and getting high distinctions in every subject so far.

“I aim to complete the Diploma this year,” Renae said. “Then I can begin the Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). The diploma is essentially the first year of this degree, but because I didn't complete Year 12 at school, I had to do the diploma first.”

“I love the idea of taking a holistic approach to health, looking at your whole lifestyle, including body, mind and spirit, not just your symptoms. I also love talking with people. Everyone has a story about their health. One day, I’d like to help them achieve their health goals. "I want to use my knowledge and experience to inspire and empower people in their own health journey.”

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Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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