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Professor Avni Sali AM
MBBS, PhD, FRACS, FACS, FACNEM
Director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine.
Professor Avni Sali is often referred to as the father of Integrative Medicine in Australia. In 1996 he was the Founding Head of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at the Swinburne University in Melbourne. In 2009 he established the not-for-profit, charitable National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM), and became its founding Director. In the past he was also Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Surgery at Heidelberg Hospital.
Professor Sali donates his time to several positions on medical boards and associations. He is the current President of the International Council of Integrative Medicine (ICIM); past President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA) and sits on numerous medical and other boards. He is a member of the Joint Working Party of the AIMA & Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) establishing the Integrative Medicine (IM) Network which oversees GP training, continuing professional development, and standards for safe ethical practice in the field of integrative medicine. He is also a patron and ambassador for several organisations including: The Melbourne Therapy Centre, GVConnect and others.
Professor Sali’s previous appointments include: Australian and New Zealand Representative of the International Society of Surgery, and Director of Victorian Health Research and Education Committee (VPHREC). Professor Sali was a part of the Federal Government Complementary Health Care Consultative Forum and the National Scientific Advisory Committee in Complementary Medicine.
Professor Sali is also involved with a number of Educational Medical & Teaching Research Facilities, such as the Brain Sciences Institute at Swinburne University; Southern School of Natural Therapies, Box Hill Institute, and the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM). Professor Sali was instrumental in establishing the first post-graduate medical school in Integrative Medicine at a University: The Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Swinburne University Melbourne, as well as the first Integrative Hospital in Melbourne.
As a highly sought after Integrative Medical expert, Professor Sali regularly contributes to a wide variety of publications, including editorials and articles in Australian and International Medical Journals. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including chapters in two of the world’s leading surgical texts. He is on the editorial board of several medical journals and reviewer of articles for other health related publications. Recently he co-authored the highly awaited definitive text of integrative medicine ‘A guide to Evidence-Based Integrative and Complementary Medicine’ Medicine’ published in 2011: Elsevier Australia.
Professor Sali is an invited speaker at numerous seminars and workshops both nationally and internationally, every year. He also volunteers his time to give educational talks on public health in metropolitan and rural communities. He is a regular contributor of health articles to publications such as The Melbourne Review.
For his contribution to the community, in 2002 he was awarded the St. Michael’s Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Australian Humanitarian Award for Contributions to Health in 2004.
In November 2012 he was honoured to receive an integrative medicine award in recognition of more than 20 years of service, at the Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards. In March 2013 Prof Sali received an appointment as Adjunct Professor with the Cairnmillar Institute in Melbourne.
Professor Sali has been a pioneer of health promotion focusing on the importance of nutrition, exercise and mind-body approaches to preventative healthcare. For example, from 1979-1981, he performed Australia’s first study into the eating habits of primary school children as well as the first study investigating the role of school canteens on childrens’ diets.
His clinical expertise is in the area of treating complex and chronic diseases, particularly cancer. As a leader in his field and through his large body of work, he has inspired and led a new generation of doctors to the practice of Integrative Medicine.
His lifelong work has been the tireless promotion of bringing evidence-based Integrative Medicine into the mainstream medical model – to become the medical paradigm of healthcare.
In 2016 Professor Avni Sali was appointed a Member of the Order (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.