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Three seemingly insignificant moments that defined a natural health career

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 13 November 2023

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As a young man, Dr Brad Leech never set out to become a natural health professional and educator, but three seemingly insignificant moments defined his career and life purpose.

Dr Brad Leech is now a PhD-qualified Clinical Nutritionist and educator. His journey to natural health started when he was 15 years old and studying for an Advanced Diploma in Ayurvedic Medicine at TAFE – the first moment that defined his career.

A spontaneous decision

“I was fortunate that my family was into health,” Brad said. “My Grandma was a massage therapist and lecturer, and Mum always followed health fads – like the juice detox. I thought there had to be more to it, and my journey started when I was reading a TAFE brochure about its health course. Even though I had no idea what Ayurveda was or how to pronounce the word, I spontaneously enrolled.

“I remember TAFE would only accept my enrolment if my Mum walked me to class until I was 16. Thankfully, she agreed, and I graduated as the youngest Ayurvedic practitioner in Australia. I remember clearly the first patient who came to see me. She was a 50-year-old woman seeking support with menopausal symptoms!”

After completing the TAFE course, Brad knew that complementary medicine and helping others was more than just his passion – it was his purpose in life. He also knew he needed to do more study. He saw an Endeavour stall at a careers day and knew it was for him. In 2016, Brad graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine.

Following his gut

At Endeavour, Brad had the second moment that altered his career path. He applied for Endeavour’s Summer Research Program.

“There is no other university like Endeavour. I resonated with my classmates and lecturers more than anywhere else I’ve studied, and some are now my closest friends and colleagues.

“While I was at Endeavour, I got interested in autoimmune disease. But I also got the opportunity to pursue a research project about the link between digestive health and autoimmunity,” Brad said. “And that’s when my passion for gut health grew exponentially. That project led to my Honours research and clinical focus. I had found my niche and ironically come full circle because the main philosophy in Ayurvedic medicine is to treat the gut.”

Giving back to his field

The last event that significantly altered Brad’s career path was a phone call from his Honours supervisor, Dr Amie Steel.

“At that point, I hadn’t considered a PhD, but she and others encouraged me to take a leap of faith, and I did, which led to many other opportunities. One of the biggest is my work with Microba, supporting the development of Co-biome, the most comprehensive gut health test in Australia and changing how we assess the microbiome and gut health.

“This collaboration gives me great satisfaction because I’m using my knowledge and experience to give back to the field, creating an innovative tool that helps many practitioners and patients.”

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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 higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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