Natural Leaders: Using naturopathy to create a life she doesn’t need a holiday from

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 11 September, 2022

When Endeavour academic Lesley O’Connor was in her early twenties, she moved to London. Cooking meals for herself for the first time, Lesley got very interested in what she was eating. So much so that when she returned home to Australia, she went straight to Endeavour to ask about studying nutrition.

“After chatting with an academic about herbs, I ended up in naturopathy,” Lesley said. “Before I went to the UK, I had studied business, majoring in international tourism and event management. But when I was working overseas, I did a tour of Europe and I remember thinking, ‘I want to create a life I don’t need a holiday from.’ Corporate life wasn’t fulfilling.”

At first, Lesley found going back to study overwhelming. “I wasn’t the best student at school, and the first few years of naturopathy involved lots of foundational science. You wonder how it all applies. Before long, I was talking to friends about molecular level details and loving it!”

“My experience shows that you are never too old or too late to change direction and study natural health. It’s a growing profession, and we need many people qualified in it.”

After graduating from Endeavour, Lesley travelled to Canada and worked as a clinical herbalist. “I got a lot of referrals from midwives who sent women to me for help with their postpartum health and lactation,” Lesley said. “While studying, I was drawn to women’s health, and in Canada, I also studied to be a doula.”

On her way home, Lesley stopped in New Zealand to care for her unwell grandparents. Back in Brisbane, she set up her business Lesley O'Connor Naturopath, helping people to fall pregnant naturally or using Assisted Reproductive Technology like IVF.

“We know a lot more now about the mechanics of conception, but there are so many moving parts and many people – both men and women – need help with their fertility. I started my business online because I wanted to help people in regional and remote parts of Australia. I also consult now in person at Yin Wellness,” she said.

Lesley plans to do a Master of Reproductive Health, but for now, she’s happily focused on establishing her business and supervising Endeavour students in the clinic.

“The student clinic is an important way to build confidence before you practise on your own. I enjoy making the student clinic a positive experience for the student practitioners to finish their degrees.”

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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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