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MAGGIE SANDS

Managing Director/School Principal - School of Integrated Body Therapy, Founder/Director - Lake Spa Wellness Centres, Life Member/Director, Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), National and International Experience

Maggie has had extensive experience in the natural medicine profession, her original training was in 1975.  Her journey into massage commenced in 1980 with a Remedial Massage Course, then over the next decade, she qualified in Naturopathy/Herbal Medicine and a wide variety of bodywork modalities.  Maggie’s journey then led her to a deeper focus on the psyche of the body and she completed an intense Somatic Psychotherapy training during the early ‘90s with ASPA (Australian Somatic Psychotherapists Association).

Maggie has held a Directorship position of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) from 1987 and she has been honoured with Life Membership of the Society in 1999.  She was elected to the position of Vice President on two separate occasions which collectively spanned 15 plus years and held the position of President/Chair 2013-15.  During this time she continuously served on several major committees that assisted to guide the natural medicine industry in Australia.  Maggie was re-elected by the ATMS members nationally as a Director to the board of ATMS in November 2017 & 2020. In early 2017 Maggie independently nominated for the Australian Industry and Skills Council (AISC) Complementary Health Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and was offered a position on the committee. In this role, she participates in the development of vocational training packages for the Complementary Health Industry sector. In October 2019 Maggie was confirmed as a member of the Massage Therapy Technical Advisory Committee (MTTAC) as a member representing private RTO's. In February 2020 Maggie was awarded the prestigious XFACTOR 'Trail Blazer' Award by NATEX & FXMedicine.
Her background in the fitness industry spans 2 decades. Maggie operated 2 highly successful aerobic studios which employed 10 aerobic instructors. During this time she presented over 5000 fitness, relaxation and stretching classes. Maggie was a founding member of the NSW Fitness Centres Association (FCA), a Director of the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) for 7 years and a national aerobic competition judge for 3 consecutive years. Maggie has also trained practitioners overseas more recently in stretching and resistance training.
 She has successfully orchestrated over 35 training programs internationally to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore and is currently liaising with other countries who are interested in developing Remedial Massage skills to the standard taught in Australia by SIBT. Maggie, with the assistance of the Australian Trade Commission, has achieved considerable success internationally.
 For 5 years Maggie also led groups of practitioners to the East Kimberley area of North West Australia to visit sacred sites and spent time with traditional indigenous landowners. Her long standing passion is to assist others to fulfil their personal dreams and grow through bodywork and natural medicine education. Maggie still travels extensively and is a gifted public speaker.

MEET OUR FACULTY

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Denis Stewart 

Clinical Medical Herbalist/Naturopath

Denis Stewart has been in continuous practice for over 40 years and currently conducts busy practices in Newcastle and Cessnock. Referred to as the Godfather of Australian Herbalism, Denis spearheaded a Renaissance in Australian herbal Medicine in the early 1970s. At the NSW College of Naturopathic Sciences Denis established/taught the inaugural 3-year full-time program in Herbal medicine in Australia. For the National Herbalist's Association of Australia, Denis constructed professional examinations, course studies and curriculum for Herbal training and education. In the late 1970s, Denis founded the Southern Cross Herbal School, offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs. From 2002-2007, Denis was a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle and assisted the construction of the Bachelor of Herbal Therapies program at the Ourimbah campus. Denis was inducted into the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) Hall of Fame in 2021. He is a Fellow/Life Member of the National Herbalist's Association of Australia (NHAA).

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TERRI BLESS

​Terri has had an interest in massage since suffering with pneumonia as a child that was largely treated with massage techniques. She has a background in the stockbroking and sales industries. After having her children she wanted a career that allowed her flexibility to be a mum and provide her with some part-time income. Since commencing her training with SIBT in 1996 Terri has completed a Diploma in Remedial Massage, Diploma in Sports Therapies including Sports Massage, Diploma in Sands Integration Therapy, Myofascial Release Diploma, Remedial Therapies Diploma, Trigger Point Certificate, Working with Lymphatics Certificate, Hot Stone Therapy Certificate and has attended numerous workshops. Terri has been a student clinic supervisor and trainer during the last 3 decades and currently teaches the VET Massage training course and the Myofascial Release Diploma. She also teaches a variety of professional education workshops for massage practitioners and has teaching experience in Singapore. Terri also has her own successful practise on the Central Coast, NSW.

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WENDY SAWLEY

​Wendy originally  trained as a Remedial Massage practitioner and Reflexologist in 1997 in Sydney. Since that time she has had several successful massage clinics in both Sydney and Coffs Harbour and currently has a practice in Forster called “Massage on Wallis”. Wendy's 21 years of clinical practice have provided substantial on going opportunities to master the skill of Remedial Massage and how to build a successful clinical practice. During Wendy's years as a practitioner she has specialised in Remedial and Sports Massage and Myofascial Release Therapy . Her treatments are client outcome focused with the intent to restore mobility and or reduce musculo-skeletal discomfort. Wendy thoroughly enjoys sharing her knowledge with students and the opportunity to see students develop into effective Massage Practitioners. Wendy is also developing workshops for the SIBT/CPE program and looks forward to sharing her knowledge not only with students but fellow practitioners.

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IRENE TASHO

​Wendy originally  trained as a Remedial Massage practitioner and Reflexologist in 1997 in Sydney. Since that time she has had several successful massage clinics in both Sydney and Coffs Harbour and currently has a practice in Forster called “Massage on Wallis”. Wendy's 21 years of clinical practice have provided substantial on going opportunities to master the skill of Remedial Massage and how to build a successful clinical practice. During Wendy's years as a practitioner she has specialised in Remedial and Sports Massage and Myofascial Release Therapy . Her treatments are client outcome focused with the intent to restore mobility and or reduce musculo-skeletal discomfort. Wendy thoroughly enjoys sharing her knowledge with students and the opportunity to see students develop into effective Massage Practitioners. Wendy is also developing workshops for the SIBT/CPE program and looks forward to sharing her knowledge not only with students but fellow practitioners.

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KAREN JENKINS

Karen Jenkins is a qualified Holistic Therapist with more than 25 years experience in Remedial Body Work, Psychophysical Healing, Vibrational Medicine and is a mental health peer worker. Karen has lived experience working through the body-mind connection on a Somatic level using movement, sound and Biodynamic bodywork. Karen's work is influenced by her own healing journey and her spiritual-cultural background as a proud Darkinjung woman.

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DEB MCGINLAY

​After graduating with the School of Integrated Body Therapy with a Diploma of Remedial Massage in 1997, Debbie continued her journey through the field of Complementary Therapies and Natural Medicine attaining a Diploma of Aromatherapy. Debbie’s background in nursing, specialising in chronic wound care led her to complete Level 2 in Lymphoedema Therapy, Management and Education. Debbie has also achieved qualifications in Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Reiki Master and Theta Healing.

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JOHN KIRKWOOD

John Kirkwood has been practising and teaching acupressure for 36 years. Originally trained in Jin Shin do Bodymind Acupressure in California, he went on to study with a range of teachers of bodywork and acupunture before returning to Australia to practise and teach his own style of Five Element Acupressure. John now teaches in six states while maintaining a clinic in the Adelaide Hills. He is the author of two books, The Way of the Five Elements and The Way of the Five Seasons (Singing Dragon Press).

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BILL PEARSON

Bill has been a massage practitioner since 1983 and a TCM practitioner since 1987. He worked as a massage tutor at Nature Care College Sydney before moving to Hobart where he opened the Tasmanian College of Massage training students in Remedial Massage. A past President of ATMS he was bestowed life membership in 1999. He opened Jian Shen School of Tai Chi and Qigong in 2000 and has been invited to teach and demonstrate for many organisations in Tasmania and nationally. He led a group of ATMS Practitioners to work in the Xin Tang County Hospital in Shijiazhuang and a group of Tai Chi students to work with Professor Xu Hongtao, the creator of Medical Qigong at the Guigen Hospital in Beijing. In 2017 he was invited to join 112 participants from 12 countries to assemble in Beijing and travel to the Great Wall and the Olympic Arena to participate in a 3 day presentation in Tai Chi. He was awarded an Excellent Performance Award.

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CATHERINE McEWAN

Catherine McEwan is a legendary practitioner in the natural medicine industry. Initially training in naturopathy, osteopathy and acupuncture in the early 1970’s. She continued on to complete courses in Gestalt, Esalon massage, Transitional Analysis and Samvahan. Catherine was the Principal and the Co-Founder of Nature Care College, Sydney (1972-1993) and President of ATMS from 1990-1994. She is a firm believer in the healing powers of soft tissue body work and has been in private practice for decades. Catherine has a strong interest in creating healing spaces especially at indigenous festivals i.e. Te Kopere, Maori traditional healing group. Her goal is to continue to share her natural therapy practical experience and knowledge with others.

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JOSHUA KIELT

Joshua is the General Manager of ICB Medical Australia, and Managing Director of ICB Medical Shanghai. In addition to his duties as General Manager ICB Australia, Joshua oversees ICB’s Research and Development department, which is responsible for new product design and clinical and pre-market testing, and manufacture. In the last 5 years Joshua has spent more than 4 months each year in Asia lecturing and performing training in the assessment and prescription of orthotic devices, to various healthcare professionals including, Medical Doctors, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Occupational Therapists and Sports Trainers/Coaches.  In addition to the clinical training, he has been in invited speaker at a number of rehabilitation and orthopedic conferences including:
- The 4th Scientific Congress of Asia Pacific Society of foot and Ankle Surgeons, October 2018
- The International Rehabilitation Canton Forum, March 2017
- The Founding Conference and First Annual Symposium of Specialty Committee of Pain Rehabilitation medicine of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Beijing December 2014.
- 1st Session of International Foot Disease Rehabilitation Forum In Lianyungang, China, August 2014.
- The 6th National Children Rehabilitation Conference and 13th National Rehabilitation conference of Cerebral Palsy Children conference, Zhengzhou, 2014
- 9th Rehabilitation Assessment/Treatment Techniques of Common Joint/Muscle Shanxi Taiyuan 2014
- 3rd National Congress of Rehabilitation Education of Chinese Assoc. of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fuzhou 2014
- Asia-Pacific Stylec Chair and Aids Technology Seminar, Xian 2014
- ISPRM, World Congress of International Society of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine, Beijing, 2013
Joshua has formal tertiary qualifications in Accounting and law, and practiced as a lawyer for 5 years before joining ICB Medical.  Joshua’s experience in the field of medial orthotics dates back more than 20 years. He was initially employed by Australian Orthotic Laboratories (AOL) as a junior orthotic technician while completing his schooling and tertiary studies. During his time working as a lawyer, Joshua was a consultant with ICB Medical and worked actively on the development of the ICB Product Range, business model, and the education and training programs offered by ICB. Upon beginning employment for ICB, Joshua was initially tasked with oversight and modernization of the ICB orthotic laboratory, and continues to be involved in the supervision and training of lab staff, and is still primarily responsible for the ICB Laboratory CAD/CAM process.
Joshua has a wealth of knowledge not only in relation to premade orthotics, but also in relation to laboratory fabrication techniques including CAD/CAM, negative and positive casting techniques, and clinical troubleshooting.

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DAVID LEHMANN

I made the change from Mechanical Engineer  to Remedial Massage Therapist in late 1997 so that I could realise a life long desire to be able to help people attain health and well-being.

My initial studies at a small college in Gosford led me on to bigger and better things with a move to Perth where I took up a lecturing role at the Australian College of Natural Medicine. This college subsequently became Endeavour College of Natural Health which further allowed me to expand my knowledge in Human Biology with the advent of their Bachelors Degree in MusculoSkeletal Therapy.

Lecturing stints at several other colleges allowed me the freedom to broaden my knowledge base.

I have a true love of the human body and it's mechanics, and my belief that we as therapists have the ability to assist our clients to bring themselves back to a more natural way of health and living. It is this intimate knowledge of the healing powers of the body that allowed me to recover from serious low back surgery in just 4 weeks, instead of the predicted 18 weeks of doing nothing.

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DAMON BRAMICH

Damon Bramich was a Remedial Massage graduate of SIBT in 1990 (91- 95 he worked within the college as an assistant to the co-founder David Griffiths). During this period Damon completed Diplomas in Sports Therapy, Integration Therapy, Remedial Massage and Reflexology.  He has been in full-time practice since 1992 and runs a successful practice in Newcastle.

In 1991 Damon started a Traditional Chinese Tai Chi martial art apprenticeship under the guidance of the Fu Sheng Yuan, the generational patriarch of the famous Yang Tai Chi Family. Over time Damon became his teacher's leading disciple and received his final teachings before Fu Sheng Yuan passed in 2017. 

Damon is internationally recognized as a 5th generation Yang Family member and one of the leading world authorities on Tai Chi Chuan. He has won numerous national and international championships in Tai Chi, Wushu, and all styles of martial arts in Australia, China, Asia, Europe including Oceania and World Tai Chi Champion. Damon is a board member of the Tai Chi Australia Association and runs a school in Newcastle and regularly travels to Europe and North America to teach Tai Chi.