About the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Opening in 2020, the Centre will offer innovative postgraduate courses, pioneering research programs and professional engagement opportunities. NCNM intends to create, promote and advocate a strong culture of incorporating leading-edge research into education and clinical practice. With this approach, it is committed to elevating industry standards and addressing Australia’s growing healthcare needs.

The Centre is located at the University’s Lismore campus, which has a proud history in plant science and naturopathic medicine. Today Southern Cross University delivers a range of degrees in allied health disciplines and complementary therapies. The Lismore campus is also home to the University’s renowned Southern Cross Plant Science research centre, a team of more than 40 scientists and PhD students led by

globally recognised experts in plant breeding, utilisation and genetics. In continuing this legacy of excellence in plant science and natural medicine, the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is the next step in creating a hub for innovation in research, education and leadership in healthcare.

Academic Leadership at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

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Professor Jon Wardle

Foundation Director and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine, Professor of Public Health

Professor Jon Wardle is Foundation Director of the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University. In addition to clinical qualifications in nursing and naturopathic medicine, Jon has postgraduate qualifications in public health, law and health economics and holds visiting positions at Boston University, University of Washington and University of Oxford.

With more than 200 academic publications to his name, Jon is a highly accomplished researcher. He works on the editorial board of eight peer-reviewed international academic medical research journals, including as Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Integrative Medicine, and is actively involved in research and policy in public health and integrative medicine.

Jon is convenor of the Public Health Association of Australia’s special interest group in complementary medicine, serves on the Public Health Association of Australia’s Research Advisory Committee and is on the executive of the American Public Health Association’s integrative health section. He also leads several World Federation of Public Health Association and World Health Organization initiatives on integrative medicine, and is deputy chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Natural Therapies Working Committee.

Jon has worked on integrative medicine, public health and primary health care policy and regulatory initiatives with governments, non-government organisations and international bodies. He is passionate about protecting and embracing tradition knowledge and fostering innovative research, and believes that by combining both optimal public health outcomes can be achieved.

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Associate Professor Matthew Leach

Deputy Director (Education), Professor of Rural Health

Associate Professor Leach is Deputy Director (Education) at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM). His mission is to foster excellence in naturopathic medicine in order to advance the field of naturopathy, and ultimately, to improve patient outcomes. His vision is to build a workforce that has increased capacity to (a) deliver safe, effective and efficient care, (b) work effectively with other members of the healthcare team across diverse settings, (c) advocate for patients and the naturopathic profession, and (d) actively participate in the evolution of the naturopathic profession.

Prior to his appointment at NCNM, Matthew was a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Rural Health at the University of South Australia. He is also a Registered nurse and naturopath.

Since completing his PhD in 2005, Matthew has built an international reputation in health services research, where he has established a program of research referred to as BEACON (Building Excellence and Advancing understanding of Consumer Outcomes and Needs). This research program is underpinned by three pillars: [i] health consumers (i.e. the health care needs, preferences and behaviours of individuals and communities), [ii] health care provision (i.e. health workforce and services planning, and evidence-based practice), and [iii] health care impact (i.e. the safety and effectiveness of health care interventions and services). Matthew has made an original and significant contribution to each of these areas, and to the field of health services research more broadly.

Matthew has collaborated with more than 27 distinct disciplines, spanning 48 agencies and academic institutions, across 10 countries. He has published over 115 refereed journal articles, 12 book chapters and a sole-authored textbook, and has attracted more than 2,322 citations for his work; with a h-index of 24 and an i10-index of 60. Matthew is also a member of several journal editorial boards, steering committees and government committees, and has been awarded competitive research funding totalling more than $1.69 million. In 2014, A/Prof Leach was awarded a competitive research fellowship with the Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine [ARCCIM], and was also appointed an Honorary Visiting Fellow with the Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Sydney.

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Associate Professor Romy Lauche

Deputy Director (Research), Professor of Statistics/Epidemiology

Associate Professor Romy Lauche is the Deputy Director (Research) at the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, Southern Cross University. Romy has background and qualifications in psychology (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany), and a PhD in medical sciences (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany).

Romy has received comprehensive training in research methodology, and has extensive experience in clinical and non-clinical research, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, mixed-methods research and statistical analyses of large population health datasets. Her current research program includes a focus on the use and efficacy of naturopathic modalities as well as projects exploring yoga, Tai Chi and self-care in the context of chronic illness, and the analyses of large national and international population health datasets.

She is a vastly experienced supervisor for PhD, Masters and Honours students and has taught a variety of subjects, including lectures and seminars in research methodology, statistics and public health to traditional and complementary medicine students. Her research interests include the examination of naturopathic and complementary medicine, including but not limited to traditional European modalities (e.g. Kneipp water cure, herbal medicine, fasting, cupping), mindfulness interventions (e.g. yoga, Tai Chi, meditation), and manual/other physical therapies.

Romy holds an honorary senior research fellow appointment at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, and an adjunct senior research fellow position with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University. She has received numerous academic awards and prizes, is a member of several societies and editorial boards, has published more than 170 journal articles, and has been cited 6159 times.