Aqua Hastings

Committix Director – Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research

“It is easy to examine matter as a point of focus, but to stand with two feet on the ground and see with two eyes the spaces between matter, ah, now that is something uncommon.

Respectful research is a potent tool for transformation, as is keenly person-centred medicine practise. Perhaps the haunted echoes of a Jewish heritage kept hidden from me for so long, or perhaps my own experiences as a very quiet and very small child propel me. In any case, I find myself leaning into quiet spaces where, if one listens very carefully, untold stories are waiting. I am compelled to be a scribe, a voice, for the socially soundless beings and stories whose time has come. I am both a researcher and a naturopathic practitioner and my role is to hold a light aloft for marginalised and minority groups.


  • Philosophy Doctorate (Sociology/Anthropology) (UON) (awaiting award)
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Hons I) (Sociology/Anthropology) (UON) 2014
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Gender) (UON) 2013
  • Diploma of Social Science (Counselling) (SCU) 2009
  • Diploma of Naturopathy (QINS) 1992
  • Diploma of Herbal Medicine (Dorothy Hall) 1997
  • Diploma of Remedial Massage (QINS) 1989 upgraded 2019
  • Advanced First Aid (current)
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (writing, painting, philosophy) (UOW) 1984-1986, incomplete

Relevant work experience

  • Alice Springs: Remote Health Naturopath 2015-2019
  • Alice Springs: Remote Health Researcher 2014-2019
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society Research Committee 2017-2019
  • Australian Network of Student Anthropologists Executive Committee 2018/19
  • WEA Hunter: Teacher of Complementary Health 2015-2018
  • WEA Hunter: Teacher of Research Skills and Methodology 2015–2018
  • University of Newcastle: Tutor in Cultural Competency in Nursing 2016
  • University of Newcastle: Assistant at Planning, Quality & Reporting 2014
  • Wollotuka Institute of Indigenous Education UON: Tutor 2011-2016


  • University of Newcastle Faculty Medal 2014
  • APA Postgraduate Scholarship
  • ATMS Dorothy Hall Award for Practitioner Excellence 2014
  • Vice Chancellor’s Meritorious List for outstanding academic achievement 2013, University of Newcastle


  • Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the Remote Setting, Australian Cultural Safety and Security News ISSN 2652-0524 Volume 1, Number 2, 27th May 2019, pp. 22-26.
  • Outback Healing: Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine across Shifting Socio-Cultural Landscapes, Chapter 2, in ‘Complementary Medicine and Culture: The Changing Cultural Territory of Local and Global Healing Practices’, 2017, Editors: Tass Holmes, Ph.D. and Paul Cherniack, MD, New York: Nova Science Publishers
  • Defining health: How users and practitioners of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine experience health care in a remote area of Australia, published online in the Refereed Proceedings of TASA Conference 2016, The Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association, Melbourne, Editor: Mark Chou, ISBN: 978-0-646-96480-5 © TASA 2016


  • 2019 International Congress of Complementary Medicine Research. Brisbane Conference Centre, Brisbane, Australia. ‘Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine use in the remote setting
  • 2018 Australian Anthropological Society Conference. James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. “Because so many people feel abandoned or they become somebody who is socially soundless”: How healers in a remote Australian town are addressing social death.
  • 2017 The Australian Sociological Association Health Day. University of NSW, Sydney, Australia. ‘Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in a remote Australian town: Exploring the intersection between culture, health care, and inequalities‘.
  • 2016 The Australian Sociological Association Conference. Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia. ‘Defining health: How users and practitioners of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine experience health care in a remote area of Australia‘.
  • 2016 Constellations: NuMac Universities Conference. University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia. ‘Exploring meanings of health in a remote area of Australia: What makes Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine culturally accessible health care?
  • 2014 International Conference of Naturopathic Medicine. Marriot Conference Centre, Paris, France. ‘Epistemic Notions of Health in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine’ (poster)
  • 2014 World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland. ‘Epistemic Notions of Health in Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine’, personal presentation and discussion with standing head of the department of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

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