Natural Health Heroes: From a nutrition qualification to working here, there and everywhere!

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 3 March, 2022

Lauren Lacey hugs friend

Lauren Lacey’s desire to excel at athletics during high school inspired her to study nutrition. Since then, her career in natural health has taken her to places she never anticipated.

“At school, I realised how much impact your diet has on your performance,” Lauren said. “So, I enrolled in nutrition at Endeavour at the Gold Coast Campus and loved it. There were so many passionate and inspirational women teaching there. They walked the talk. I went into nutrition study, wanting to eat well for sport and run a clinic, but instead, my career has taken me here, there and everywhere!”

After helping other athletes with their nutritional needs in the clinic, Lauren also qualified as a naturopath. Then she worked with the international brand Fitness First, based in Sydney, and helped them integrate naturopathy clinics and dispensaries into their gyms. Unfortunately, when the global financial crisis hit, the company scaled the model back to fitness supplements. Lauren moved into the pharmaceutical sector, working with Merck and Flordis Natural Medicine. After having her second baby, Lauren moved back to the Gold Coast and changed direction again.

“My husband and I set up a not-for-profit, Involvement Volunteers International, taking teams of people overseas to run nutrition and health clinics. We started by helping Syrian refugees in Greece with health checks, and since then, we’ve expanded to helping communities with limited access to healthcare in India and the South Pacific. COVID-19 has halted our overseas trips, but we’ll return as soon as travel restrictions lift. In many of the communities, we teach village families and local healthcare workers how to identify and address nutritional deficiencies and integrate locally available foods into their diet to improve their health.”

“We take a range of healthcare professionals – naturopaths, nutritionists, dietitians, doctors, nurses, speech therapists. The opportunity is open to Endeavour students who would like to do their practical hours and gain experience in community work. Some of the team members choose to stay on and help build local capacity and sustainability.”

Lauren is also a key account manager with Mediherb, founded by Professor Kerry Bone, who Lauren studied under as a Phytotherapy (herbal medicine) student. In her Mediherb role, Lauren provides training and education to practitioners. “It’s great to see how other practitioners run their businesses and to share my knowledge to help them make a difference to their patients,” Lauren said.

Keeping plenty on her plate, Lauren is also on her way to completing her master’s in psychology part-time. “I have never felt I had quite the right tools to help people, like the Syrian refugees. With this degree, I will become a registered clinical psychologist.”

When asked how she fits this all in, Lauren laughed. “I like the chaos,” she said. “The more that I have on, the more I get done! I never imagined I’d be doing what I do now. The important thing for students to remember is that there may not be an existing role, but if you can see a need, you can create a role that helps meet that need. You’ve just got to think outside the box.”

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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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