Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 15 August 2022
When bushfire threatened the home of Endeavour academic Tracy Gaibisso, the first thing her husband suggested she pack was her herbal medicine books. The only trouble was Tracy couldn’t decide which ones.
Thankfully, their West Australian home survived, and Tracy’s books remained safe. “Herbs have taken over my life,” she laughed. “Honestly, naturopathy found me. I love herbs!”
From the United Kingdom, Tracy worked in a bank after she left school. Over 13 years, she had climbed the ranks to a managerial role overseeing 24 staff. “It didn’t feel exactly right, so I decided to take a year off to travel. To my surprise, the bank gave me a two-year sabbatical.”
In Australia, Tracy heard conversations about naturopathy. She always had an interest in nutrition, but she didn’t know you could create a career in natural health. While in Sydney, Tracy visited a few naturopathic colleges, and the seed was planted.
“Back in the UK, I got the post-travelling blues,” Tracy said. “I decided to apply to study naturopathy in Sydney, and if I got accepted, I’d go. Well, I got in, sold my house and moved to Australia. I remember sitting in class on my first day of college, and the tears started to roll. I was home!”
While studying, Tracy worked for a pharmaceutical company interested in natural therapies. During her third year at college, she met her future husband, Roberto. After graduating, Tracy went into clinical practice and has loved it ever since.
“I can’t imagine not seeing clients,” Tracy said. “It’s imperative to remain in practice to stay in touch with the trends in the community and people’s needs. I like the balance with teaching. I’m a better practitioner when I’m teaching. As a practitioner, I bring my experience from the clinic into the classroom.”
Tracy’s niche is helping women with their hormones and fertility. In addition to her naturopathy and nutrition qualifications, she has a Master of Reproductive Medicine, post-graduate training in wellness, and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. “In clinic, I see my role as a naturopath and teacher – I want to empower clients with knowledge to apply in their daily lives.”
“In naturopathy, you are forever a student. You’re always building on your knowledge because you can never know everything. Thankfully, I had some inspirational women who guided me – from my mum, who cooked meals from scratch, to one of my herbal teachers, Jacqui Bushell, who used to bring herbs from her garden to show us. I am so lucky to have had other inspirational women teach me, such as Francesa Naish, Melanie Koeman and Angela Hywood.”
At Endeavour in Perth, Tracy’s favourite subject is herbal manufacturing. “I could teach this all day, every day. It is fun and a great way to reconnect people with the earth and nature. You can read as much as you like in journals, but the best way to learn is by doing,” she said. “I also love the student clinic. I see a massive change from the students’ first day in the clinic to when they venture out into the world.”
Tracy is on the cusp of launching a new business – Mugwort and Sage – with a naturopathic colleague. It is a model she hopes will introduce naturopathy into the homes of more Australians. Knowing Tracy’s passion for herbs, the products may involve getting your hands dirty!
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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.