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In this issue: 2022 AIMA Conference  |   Events   |  Jobs  |  Latest research  |  Join AIMA 
AIMA President's and Vice President's Reports
Dear <<First Name>>,

We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge amount of gratitude to our generous, thoughtful, and hard-working President – Dr Penny Caldicott and Vice-President – Dr Tim Ewer, who are coming to the end of their tenure on the AIMA Board. Their contribution and efforts have helped to see AIMA and the wider field of integrative medicine thrive! We sincerely thank you both.

Below are some parting words from them each. 

Final president’s report
It has been my pleasure and an enormous privilege to serve on the board of AIMA for 11 years and as President for 8 years. It has certainly been a huge journey for me with a plethora of opportunities to expand my skills and knowledge and sufficient challenges to facilitate personal growth and resilience, for all of this I am incredibly grateful. Thank you for your support and trust.
I first came to be on the board after an AIMA conference when I approached Dr Kerryn Phelps at the airport, I think I said “I would like to be on the AIMA board one day”. The next week I was and at our first board meeting I was delegated the task of being the conference convenor, a title that had to be explained to me by my lovely friend, Stephen Myers.  Naïve and not easily daunted I set about convening….. I’m not sure that it was our best conference but we certainly had a lot of speakers and streams, perhaps a little too many. I did build some conference convening skills over the years and with some future projects in mind, I’m sure that they will serve me well.
I served under Dr Kerryn Phelps and Dr Lily Thomas and, in my role of president, I have had the support of all who have gone before me and many others who have generously given time, energy and expertise and more than a little moral support when needed.
We have been fortunate to have many wonderful board members over these years, each bringing their unique skills and way of seeing things to the collective AIMA board.  Robust discussion that challenges ideas and ways of thinking, is essential for good board governance, doing this is a respectful and productive manner has been a priority for the AIMA board.
There have been many very positive changes to the board in this time:
  • Reducing the number of directors for a coherent engaged board
  • Bringing new skills on the board to increase our capacity, including: business, legal, educational, a community representative, a doctor in training and other non-doctor practitioners
  • Changing the constitution so that the executive of the board can only be elected by the board after the AGM
  • Getting very focused on our strategy with regular shorter board meetings
  • Amazing and understandable financial reporting allowing all directors to fulfill their financial obligations for governance purposes
  • And so many other changes small and large…..
Early on the board decided to do some rigorous strategic planning, we had this process facilitated and sought advice from everyone we could.  I have to say that the plans we made and the timelines felt a little overwhelming at the time and for some time after.  We decided at this time that collaboration with all relevant and willing organisations in the Australian and New Zealand IM communities was crucial.
You may not know this but AIMA has only one full-time paid employee in Australia, currently Cressida Hall the CEO, aided by a bookkeeper, and one part-time employee in New Zealand, currently Jo Ewer.  These people work very hard and with an incredible loyalty to AIMA.  Everyone else works in a voluntary capacity including the board.  It is important to keep this in mind as you read the next bit!
While we may not have achieved every part of our original strategic plan we have achieved an enormous amount.  We have managed to collaborate widely in our sector and much of our work is coming to fruition at a time when it is not only most needed for the general community but also for practitioners and particularly GPs looking for a change in the way they practice to better serve their patients and to work in a more supportive integrative environment.
Some of our work/achievements:
  •  To live our talk the AIMA board opened membership up to all appropriately qualified practitioners, with the notion that while individual practitioners can be integrative, Integrative Medicine is fundamentally about working in a team to accompanying each patient
  • We have met with as many organisations and institutes in the IM sphere as we could and explored and organised many collaborative projects
  • We conducted some community research with the Health Issues Centre on what people disclose to practitioners and doctors on their use of complementary/traditional medicines and supplements
  • We started a legal advocacy group and now have early advice for doctors who have legal or regulatory challenges, the work in this area is ongoing
  • We have done our best to support practitioners experiencing challenges, regulatory or otherwise
  • We have represented IM in many forums including: senate enquiries, meetings with the health minister and numerous other politicians, meetings with Anne Tonkin (chair of the Medical Board of Australia), media interviews – print, online, radio and TV, at every IM conference and whenever possible in the community.
  • We coordinated and led the response to the Australian Medical Board’s public consultation for ‘clearer regulation of medical practitioners who provide complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments’.  It was a great moment for IM as all the organisations and individuals came together for our first really collaborative piece of work. This was very well supported by thousands of public submissions.  And we collectively WON!!
  • We have developed a module on inter-professional communication that trains practitioners to write comprehensive letters to other practitioners for shared patients, this important piece of work not only helps to establish the IM team but ensures that each member is aware of the relevant information for patient care and safety – as many of our projects this module was contributed to by a very skilled group of practitioners and academics who developed the course along with the ground-breaking guidelines which underpin the course.
  • We stopped running conferences in Australia for a time to focus on our long- term strategy as a conference takes most of our people resources leaving little left for building…. But conferences continued to run in Auckland run by our NZ team, led by the fabulous Dr Tim Ewer. These events bring the IM family together, we learn, share and have a wonderful reconnecting time each year.
  • We have developed and nurtured relationships with NICM at Western Sydney University and the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University and without pre-empting the announcement at the conference in Auckland this month, it has been a wonderful and fruitful exchange in so many ways.
  • We are about to launch our Fellowship of Integrative Medicine with a grand parenting process to start this month (for doctors initially). The fellowship will be for all appropriately registered practitioners. The challenges for IM practice are most significant for doctors and this fellowship will not only define and make transparent the competencies and learning outcomes, it will be a systematic way of learning IM, providing a standard for IM doctors. All who complete this fellowship will be Certified Integrative Medicine Specialists. AIMA will communicate and explain this process and the learning outcome to regulatory bodies, the government, MDUs, the relevant colleges and the community, a huge step towards providing some rigor to the process and some safety for practitioners and their patients.
As I leave the AIMA board I would love to be able to name and thank all the incredible and dedicated people who I have had the privilege to work with and all those who have been supportive and who have advised me along the way, but the list is long and you all know who you are! Infinite thanks and gratitude. While not on the board I will continue to be involved with the fellowship process until it is steady and stable and I can waft off to the next journey.

Dr Penny Caldicott 
AIMA President

Final Vice-President's Report

My first experience of AIMA was going to a spectacular conference in Geelong in 1999 where the US clown doctor and social activist, Patch Adams, opened the meeting and we had several days of inspiring presentations interspersed with music and revery – quite different from any previous medical conference I had been to, and I quickly realised that I had found my medical “family”.  I have attended every conference since then and helped to put on NZ’s first one in 2006 in Queenstown, as well as subsequent ones in Auckland.
The beginnings of what was to become AIMA started with a group of doctors interested in complementary medicine getting together in Fairfield, Victoria, in 1991 and eventually the Federal AMA required that AIMA become an association as a medical body.  The NZ branch was set up in November 2000, after a 15 of us met at Gerald Gibbs house in Auckland, in order to find ways to support each other in Aotearoa. This included educationally (conferences, newsletters, journal, email groups, etc), politically to represent relevant issues at a national level in terms of government and other medical organizations, such as the medical council, NZMA and RNZCGP, and socially to share ideas and concerns.
Having been on the AIMA board for 20 years, I have been hugely impressed by the dedication and creativity of our board members who have worked long hours with no pay to both maintain the status of AIMA as a peak body for integrative medicine and to develop and adapt to the needs of the times.  In fact, at this month’s conference in Auckland, there will be some important announcements about progressing the status of integrative medicine.
Although I am stepping down from the board, I continue to fully support the aims and core values of AIMA, and really look forward to meeting up with other members of the “family” at AUT.  I wish the new board members all the best as we move into the ongoing challenges and opportunities for developing and promoting integrative medicine in our countries and beyond.

Dr Tim Ewer
AIMA Vice-President


How is it November already?! and yes, we are just 2 weeks away from our wonderful AIMA Conference!

If you haven't booked your tickets already...what are you waiting for?! This year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

We've got fantastic speakers talking on interesting topics, a program that embeds community-building, encourages connection, entertains and nourishes your body, mind and spirit. It's the one chance a year we get to catch up with like-minded practitioners, hear from expert integrative medicine speakers and come together to cultivate our wonderful community in person. You don't want to miss this! 

So, if you are a GP, medical specialist, allied health practitioner, researcher, educator, student, or health professionas who wants to learn about and understand how integrative medicine can be used to prevent and manage chronic and complex diseases - get cracking and book those tickets!

Ticket prices
AIMA Members $450
Non-members $550
Students $120

For more information and to book, go to



Genetics, the Missing Puzzle Piece for Oestrogen-Related Disorders with Dr Denise Furness
Wednesday 9 & Wednesday 16 November 2022
7.30pm-8.45pm AEDT
Join this webinar series for only $29. By Attending you will:

  • Understand key enzymes involved in hormone metabolism
  • Lean impacts of methylation on hormonal balance
  • Explore key nutrients and compounds to support oestrogen metabolising pathways
  • Identify key SNPs that impact endometriosis and PCOS
  • Discuss nutritional, dietary and lifestyle strategies to manage oestrogen imbalance.

Click here to book.

Help celebrate the launch of Qiara Probiotics in Aotearoa.

Join other health professionals for an evening of networking and a FREE Education event "The Microbiome & Probiotics in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding” in-person or via virtual stream.
CPD/CPE accredited by NZ Midwifery Council, ANTA, MCNZ, RACGP (and others, check with your association)
When: Thursday, 17th November 2022
Time:    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (UTC+13) (Auckland New Zealand)
              Live event commences at 6pm with networking and refreshments provided
              Virtual stream commences at 7pm
Where: Lecture Theatre WG404, Auckland University of Technology 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand.
Clinical Educator, Emma Park, will present the latest cutting-edge research on the pregnancy microbiome and how it relates to
pregnancy outcomes along with a research review into clinically relevant evidence-based probiotics for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Review the most recent research and clinical updates on the pregnancy microbiome
  • Learn what's impacting the pregnancy microbiome and how this relates to pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes
  • Learn how to use diet and lifestyle to best support the pregnancy microbiome and improve pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes
  • Review the most recent research and clinical applications of evidence-based probiotics for improving pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes
  • Best practice and case studies using the breastmilk strain probiotic L.fermentum CECT5716

JOIN in Person or via Virtual stream.  Registration is essential.  We hope to see you there!

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis in Clinical Practice

Sunday 20th November 2022, 8:30am - 5:30pm (NZST)

Immerse yourself in Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) for a deeper understanding of bio-individual therapy & detoxification, for
improved clinical outcomes.

Learn how to:
1. evaluate essential mineral levels
2. assess metabolic stress and energy
3. quantify toxic loads and burdens
4. naturally chelate and detoxify
5. re-establish body mineral balance

For: New & Experienced Practitioners
Price: $195NZD, $175 AUD inc Free HTMA (for a client or yourself), Product Samples, Light Lunch & Resources
7.5 hours CPE / CPD Point - Fast-track your accreditation!

Click here for more information and to book.



There is a vacancy for a community member on the Victorian Board (State Board) of the Medical Board of Australia.  We encourage AIMA community members to apply for this position.  If we are going to build true representation and understanding of integrative medicine and protect integrative medicine doctors and practitioners we need to ensure that we are represented on all appropriate regulatory boards.  So please spread the word about this vacancy, or consider applying yourself.  You can find further details click HERE.


The Melbourne Therapy Centre (MTC) – Accredited General Practice and Integrative Medical Centre with Medical and Allied Health Professionals.

The MTC is looking for a GP with an interest in Integrative Medicine. We offer an attractive Service Agreement, clinical nursing support, and full reception, with experienced staff and beautiful surroundings. We are located at 221 Wonga Road, Warranwood 3134.

Please visit our website for information on the Melbourne Therapy Centre at

Expressions of interest – please contact the Practice Manager, Jenny Blac by emailing or call 03 9876 3011.


Seeking GPs, Psychologist, Osteopath and Naturopath for a holistic medical centre in Surry Hills, NSW

Established in 1977, The Wholistic Medical Centre was the first medical centre in Australia to integrate mainstream general practice with complementary medicine. We are now looking for GPs, a Psychologist, an Osteopath and a Naturopath to join our large, experienced and friendly team doing the type of satisfying clinical practice that you want to do. Part time or full-time.

Email Dr Nicholas Bassal at or visit the website here.



"Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Death, New Study Finds

Vitamin D deficiency increases mortality risk and raising levels even slightly could decrease the risk, researchers examining data from the UK Biobank have found.

They used a Mendelian randomization approach, which uses genetic variants as "proxy indicators" for external factors that affect vitamin D levels, such as sun exposure or dietary intake. It allows for analysis of the relationship between deficiency and outcomes including mortality, which can't be done in randomized clinical trials for ethical reasons."

To read the full article in Medscape by Miriam E. Tucker click here, to read the findings which were published online October 24 in Annals of Internal Medicine click here.

"Long Sleep, Turning In Early May Up Risk for Dementia

Too much sleep and time in bed (TIB) may raise the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), new research suggests.
Results from a population-based study of almost 2000 older adults, all of whom were free of dementia at baseline, showed that risk for dementia was 69% higher in those who slept more than 8 hours daily vs 7 to 8 hours daily; and it was twice as high for those who went to bed before 9 PM vs at 10 PM or later.
These associations were most pronounced in people aged 60-74 years and in men, the researchers report."

To read the full article by Batya Swift Yasgur in Medscape, click here. To read the findings which published online on September 21 in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, click here.



Not an AIMA member? Join now and help us to push integrative medicine forward!

Memberships enable us to build a strong integrative medicine community that is united, recognised, supported, and informed. We rely on memberships to survive and to support our goals, which are to:

  • bring integrative medicine into the mainstream
  • foster true collaborations between doctors and practitioners
  • build a lively and engaged integrative medicine community
  • support and advocate for integrative practitioners and integrative medicine through the power of a collective voice.

AIMA Membership provides a raft of benefits including:

  • Free subscription to our Monthly AIMA e-Newsletter
  • Discounted tickets to informative, fun, and inspiring AIMA Events
  • Certificate of Membership (on request)
  • One year subscription to Advances in Integrative Medicine (AIMED)  - our international peer-reviewed, evidence-based research and review journal 
  • Having your say to help shape the future of integrative medicine
  • Access to education and professional development     
  • Benefitting from the power of a collective voice advocating the goals of integrative medicine            
  • Networking and support                    


Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is intended to provide accurate and helpful health information for the general public. The information should not be considered complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions and/or their treatment. It should not be used in place of a call or visit to a medical, health or other competent professional, who should be consulted before adopting any of the suggestions in this newsletter or drawing inferences from it. Please note that the views expressed within are the presenters own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association.

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