Incorporated in 1920, the NHAA is the oldest complementary medicine association in Australia. Our roots go back even further than 1920, as we were created by the joining of active associations of the time. We were originally incorporated as the National Herbalists Association of NSW, with the merger of the New South Wales Union of Herbalists and the Medico-Botanic Eclectic Association NSW. In 1952 we became the National Herbalists Association of Australia including all states and territories and simultaneously merging with 2 more active contemporary associations, the Queensland Association of Herbalists and the South Australian Herbal Association.
In 2016 we changed our name to the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia to reflect and better represent our growing membership base of naturopaths, while protecting our rich history and core practice of Western herbal medicine. It also facilitated better recognition at a national and international level.
We have a long history in the Complementary Medicine (CM) field and have always set standards and been active at both the political level and at the coal face of clinical practice and education.
From the very beginning the NHAA has been active in working towards integrating herbal and naturopathic medicine into national healthcare. We do this by promoting our practitioners and educating the public, as well as lobbying the Federal Government for formal inclusion of these modalities into national healthcare models. For example, when GST was introduced in 2000, we successfully lobbied the Federal Government to write into the legislation that "herbal" consultations would be GST exempt.
The NHAA has always worked towards the formal integration of herbal medicine into national healthcare. As early as 1929 the NHAA put forward proposals and submissions to both the State and Federal Governments and worked closely with other bodies and associations, to include practitioners of Western herbal medicine within the nation’s regulatory healthcare framework. This has since expanded to include the modality naturopathy, and we continue to actively pursue this on all levels.
For more information go to Regulation of Practitioners
Every year, in the last week of October, we celebrate and promote herbal medicine and naturopathy and their role in our nation’s health. All across Australia our practitioner members throw open the doors of their clinics, run open days and garden tours, do community talks and demonstrations, all with the aim of promoting herbal medicine and educating the public on the value of including complementary medicines in their healthcare routine.
For more information go to National Herbal Medicine Week
The NHAA works tirelessly to monitor the position of the profession within Australia and to promote the validity of herbal medicine and naturopathy as healthcare modalities, and the value and professionalism of our practitioners. We do this in several ways:
NHAA Board members are frequently invited to sit on various industry and Government committees and reference groups that input into many facets of complementary medicine use in Australia.
The NHAA has been responsible for many submissions to State and Federal Governments and frequently collaborates with other industry and professional bodies creating submissions.
For more information go to Government & Industry Submissions
The NHAA is regularly contacted for interviews both for general media articles about CM and for responses to current trends and media stories.
The NHAA has always upheld the highest levels of education and training for the profession. Our educational standards and Course Accreditation System (CAS) were developed in conjunction with leading training institutions and are regularly reviewed and updated. Our Board includes an Examiners subcommittee who work with training institutions, Government and industry reference groups and other bodies to develop and promote these standards across Australia. We also work hard to continually inform practitioners with the latest updates and teachings from around the world. We do this via:
Every three years since 1992 the NHAA has run an International Conference that brings together the best and most inspiring international and Australian speakers on every aspect of herbal medicine and related topics. Held in a different Australian state each time and frequently attended by over 400 delegates, these are stimulating and enlightening for speakers and delegates alike. Due to the success of these conferences they will be held every two years from 2013.
For more information go to International Conference
The Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine is regarded as one of the leading clinically relevant, peer reviewed journals of herbal medicine. Published quarterly since 1989, it is a valuable source of knowledge for practitioners and students.
For more information go to Australian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine
In each year between international conferences, the NHAA hosts a seminar tour throughout major cities in Australia with prominent invited speakers presenting on herbal topics. These seminars are a useful and enjoyable way of keeping up to date, and are very popular with practitioners and students nationwide
For more information go to National Seminar Series