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About the Owner

Hello and welcome!

Year 12 choices for me were a mix of fine art, chemistry and wistful thinking about being a veterinarian.  I have come full circle after a long career in the logistics industry to an education environment that offers ‘applied’ courses in veterinary areas without the need to become a veterinarian.  Excitingly, I have had the immense opportunity to learn exponentially more about a world that has held my fascination since my grandfather bought me my first horse, and my father said to my brother and me to go and bring the sheep in for shearing.     

My aim since finishing in logistics has been to learn as much as I can about horses and other animals, almost trying to catch up on the previous 30 odd years since I first thought about becoming a vet, and have as much time with them as possible.  Evidenced based learning has been a welcome addition to the education environment by helping me to focus my garnering of knowledge, particularly in the areas of alternative therapies.  I have structured my theoretical and practical education by cobbling together an animal version of the human herbalist’s government and herbal industry regulated training structure in the absence of any regulated animal herbalist training in Australia, with much enjoyment!  The medical and clinical sciences (Bachelor of Equine Science) and herbal medicine and clinical training (Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine) is supported by research skills and methodology (Bachelor of Science/Navy), bodywork (Equinology/Caninology) and coaching (Bachelor of Equine Science).

I am currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT).  My intention is to augment the Bachelor of Equine Science with more detailed animal pathophysiology and specific therapeutics, such that I am be able to competently assess, determine an appropriate treatment protocol and prescribe appropriately utilising a range of modalities including herbs, homoeopathics, nutrition, bodywork, training/coaching and network with other specialists including vets, farriers, dentists, trainers/coaches etc.  On completion (in Jun 2015), I will be a qualified 'veterinary herbalist', providing me the appropriate skill sets to combine herbs, nutrition and body work in a way that coalesces traditional and scientific knowledge for the optimum support of animals, throughout their life.

I think an appropriately trained herbalist has a place in animal primary care similar to the human herbalist approach.  Willow Wise Therapies' role is primarily about the sharing of information, with wholistic treatment protocols being augmented to designated veterinary care, as appropriate.  I work in a team approach with vets/farriers/dentists/trainers/owners to promote wellness.  My particular interests at the moment are in rehabilitation: the role for bodywork, biomechanics, herbs and nutrition from acute trauma to return to work, and nutrition related conditions throughout an animal’s lifecycle.

My future goal is to be involved in developing more structured education and business practice guidelines for the animal herbalist in Australia.  The human herbal medicine industry has achieved a partial regulatory structure, to its utmost benefit.  The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provides oversight on safety issues for herbs by classifying herbs as medicine.  The Good Manufacturing Principles guidelines and post marketing audits ensure the quality of the herbs available to humans.  Training is regulated by the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) and herbal industry standards.  Unfortunately, the animal herbal industry lacks the same robustness.  The only course accredited with the AQF is the CIVT Graduate Diploma.  The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) does not do post market auditing on herbal products.  No animal bodywork courses feature in the AQF.

My 2015 goals are about you and your animals.  Think of Willow Wise Therapies as your portal to robust, valid, evidence based information and treatment options that are targeted to the wellbeing of your animal. This website has news items about various modalities and wholistic wellness information aimed at assisting you do lots for your animal(s) yourself and letting you know when to ask for help.  Stay tune for a release of an e-book too!  And of course, anytime you have a question, please drop me a line or book a consultation here.

To see a list of Sue's qualifications, click here or to read more about the AQF and herbalist training in Australia click here.