Future of Wellness: making the switch from full-time public servant to full-time Acupuncture student

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 6 October, 2020

After 18 years in the federal public service, Alf Zollo suddenly had the freedom to choose a new path in life – and so he did, signing up to study Acupuncture in his hometown of Adelaide.

“When I left my job, I received a generous package, but I had no plan,” Alf said. “Years earlier, I had turned to acupuncture because I wasn’t satisfied with Western Medicine. One day, I went and had treatment from an Endeavour teacher and thought, ‘I could do this.’ I like the way Chinese medicine doesn’t separate our emotional health from our physical health. I’ve also been into meditation for about 25 years and am very comfortable with Eastern philosophy in general.”

Alf is currently in his second year of Acupuncture and is studying full-time. “At the beginning, I was overwhelmed by the volume of information we needed to learn, but the team at Endeavour is really supportive, and the course is well-designed. I’ve found as I embrace the content, it’s gotten easier to absorb. I’ve also learnt to differentiate what’s critical and focussed my attention on that.”

“The gradual approach Endeavour takes to clinical practice gives me confidence. First, we observe lecturers providing acupuncture treatment, then we work alongside senior students and then, we get to decide the treatment path,” Alf said. “The lecturers are all practitioners themselves, and their love for the medicine shines through. It’s cool to be exposed to their different viewpoints and approaches – it helps us define how we want to practise.”

Alf has not settled on his practitioner model yet, but he’s encouraged by the trend towards collaborative wellness. “I think receptivity is growing amongst conventional health professionals, like physiotherapists and GPs, to work with natural health professionals in clinics or to refer patients. At Endeavour, I feel like we form strong connections with our year group as we are always practising techniques on each other. I can definitely imagine working with my classmates in future.”

One of the highlights of the COVID-19 lockdown for Alf was running a meditation course online for his fellow Endeavour students. While Alf enjoys being at home in Adelaide and close to family, he hasn’t ruled out wandering the world with his needles once he graduates.

Future of Wellness

The Future of Wellness series features stories from current Endeavour students around the country. From where they started to where they are now to where they are headed, we celebrate their unique stories and perspectives.

Interested in reading more Future of Wellness stories? Head here for more.

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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