I reside in the remote city of Perth, Western Australia with a beautiful son, husband and dog named Alby. Coming from Croatian ancestry my mother and aunties often resorted to folk medicine from their home land for all sorts of ailments as a child. This was my early introduction to healing through plants. My love of nature led me to a 30 year career as a geo-scientist specialising in telling the story of the rocks and exploring for precious metals globally. About 10 years ago I was very sick and visited a master herbalist. Much to my surprise, he was able to relieve many of the symptoms quickly. My western trained scientific mind was in awe of the power of the plants and his knowledge. This led to studying with the herbalist and upon his recommendation the discovery of the East West School of Planetary Herbology about 5 years ago. The first couple years of the course was daunting, learning TCM concepts and immense Materia Medica. Luckily a friend is also studying the course and Sheila (my supervisor) have been very encouraging. Now I love studying and grateful for all the diversity this course offers.

Another lifelong path travelled has been learning wisdom from the first nation peoples here in Australia, the US and South America. There is so much insight they offer in relation to deepening my connection to spirit, the land and plants, sustainability and different ways of thinking. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have experienced many elders imparting their ancient ways of healing, often through the gifts of plants. Over the past 4 years, I’ve visited grandmothers of the Shipibo Tribe of the Amazon in Peru. They too have a very unique relationship with plants and have been teaching me their ways of ceremony. It’s not an easy process and calls on one to be very aware of their colonist attitude and beliefs. It’s taught me deep respect, discipline, patience and there so much more to learn.

Here in the south-west of Australia many of the old indigenous ways are dying out, especially the understanding of medicinal properties of local plants. I admire reading about people who gather herbs through wild crafting and see this as an opportunity for us here to learn about the wild plants in my backyard.  In doing this course I’ve found it almost impossible to find organic herbs to make medicines. Subsequently, I’ve been growing herbs and recently purchased a 50 acre bush block. My vision is to create a place where people can walk amongst herbs and learn about the magical healing properties of plants, like apothecary gardens of Europe. My passion is to grow organic herbs and foods, live in harmony with the land and teach the ancient ways of stillness in nature.

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