Inspired living

A Q&A with Charles Wurf, CEO of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Charles Wurf

Credit: Charles Wurf

We spoke to Charles Wurf, CEO of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), to find out how ATMS supports professional practitioners of natural medicine occupations.

When was the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) founded and by who?

ATMS was founded in 1984 by Dorothy Hall and a group of seven like-minded practitioners with an aim to provide graduates with support after their initial training was completed. We honour this every year by giving away the Dorothy Hall Memorial Award to a practitioner who has demonstrated excellence regarding the advancement of Natural Medicine in Australia.

What was the initial vision for ATMS and has that changed over time?

ATMS was founded to promote the professional practice of natural medicine in Australia. While scopes of practice and education standards have evolved over time, the essence of professional practice remains the guiding vision.

What are the aims and principles of ATMS?

ATMS promotes and represents professional practitioners of natural medicine, who are encouraged to pursue the highest ideals of professionalism in their natural medicine practice and education.

How does ATMS uphold high standards of professional and ethical conduct and education?

ATMS has its own standards of accreditation for courses which take into account both the minimum education standards as specified by ASQUA, as well as the need for significant clinical practice to integrate the training.

What are the different types of natural medicine practitioners and positions that you represent?

ATMS represents over 20 different natural medicine modalities including naturopathy, herbal medicine, remedial massage and nutrition, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

What are the benefits of joining ATMS?

Many practitioners are trained across several different areas of practice and ATMS makes it easier for them as they only need to belong to one association. ATMS offers members access to discounted professional indemnity insurance, ongoing professional development education, advocacy and lobbying, as well as accreditation with health funds.

What type of events does ATMS offer?

ATMS offers members professional training through more than 40 face-to-face events and 60 webinars annually. In September 2018, ATMS will bring five leading practitioners to Sydney to present an academic symposium on PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) at UTS.

What are your three top tips for improving health and wellness?

  • Everyone should make vegetables the stars of their meals. My favourite recipe is potato rosti with beetroot horseradish; it’s super easy and delicious.
  • Regular exercise is essential for a healthy mind and body. I enjoy cycling in the morning as it sets me up for the day, clearing my mind and increasing my stamina.
  • I think regular supportive bodywork is essential to reduce pain and tension. My favourite modality is massage. I suggest seeing a massage therapist to revitalise the body and mind and stimulate the circulatory system.

What’s next for ATMS?

To entrench natural medicine as a natural choice, enabling the health and wellbeing of all Australians.


Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan is the Editor of WellBeing and Deputy Editor of EatWell. She loves surfing, raw desserts, flowing through nourishing yoga sequences and spending time in her garden.