Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 24 April 2023
natural health heroes
Nutritionist Prue Matar is a trailblazer in her community, an ATMS 2022 Practitioner of the Year finalist and a mother to three teenage daughters. Her journey into the natural health industry started when her role at a big bank was made redundant.
“It turned out for the best,” Prue said. “I was pregnant with my third child and decided to study personal training. The college was on the same campus as Endeavour, and I started to look at its courses.
Australian-born and bred, Prue first considered naturopathy but discovered that some herbal remedies, tinctures and essences contain alcohol, which is haram (forbidden) in her faith, and most Muslims will not consume it.
“Fitness and nutrition naturally go together, so I enrolled in nutrition,” said Prue. “The first semester was hard, getting back into studying in my late thirties, but I passed every subject, which motivated me to continue. I studied late at night once the kids were asleep.”
“I had always cared about food, and I loved studying it! The time I spent in the Endeavour student clinic was the best year of my life. My supervisors were amazing and shared so much knowledge. That year cemented the previous three years of study. The clinical hours at Endeavour are a huge bonus.”
Prue always knew she wanted to start a business but could not have predicted how hard the beginning would be. Matar Health opened in January 2019 as the first cases of Covid-19 were being reported.
“We experienced lots of ups and downs as a small business,” Prue said. “Thankfully, we had a very flexible landlord who supported us with grace periods on the rent. We used government support, and my husband kept working.”
Initially, most of Prue’s clients came through social media. “Instagram was huge. I focused on sharing moderate, evidence-based health tips. From Instagram, I now have clients in different states and countries.”
“Nutritionists in my community are few and far between,” Prue explained. “My clinic is in a multicultural community, so I didn’t expect such a high percentage of Muslim clients. People come from all over Sydney and all walks of life to see me in the clinic.”
Prue volunteers her time to speak at workshops in her local community. About once a month, you’ll find her speaking at schools, youth groups and mosques about preventative health.
“I’m passionate about early intervention and want to raise awareness about what nutrition can do to improve your health. For example, there’s a high rate of stomach cancer in our community, which may relate to a fondness for barbecues and barbecued meats. So, I explain the connections between diet and health, share information about the screening tests available and encourage people to get them done.”
One day, Prue would like to run a multimodality clinic and employ other natural health practitioners to work alongside her. She would also do ten more degrees if time and finances allowed, starting with a Master’s in Dietetics. For now, Prue is content building her business and supporting her community.
“I love how small changes in nutrition and lifestyle can make such a difference to people and their health goals. Seeing the change in them is so rewarding and fulfilling.”
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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.