Board Profiles

Debra Schnepper - Chair

Deb Schnepper PicDebra graduated from the Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT) in 1981 practising Naturopathy, Remedial and Manipulative Therapy, Iridology, Homeopathy, Vitamin and Mineral Therapy, and Herbal Medicine. Since 2009 she has also been a lecturer in the Lester Cox technique. For the first five years of practice Debra worked with Judy and Alf Jacka in their Hawthorn practice as well as in her own practices in Springvale and Carrum Downs. She subsequently scaled down to Carrum Downs only where she practices and operates a multi-disciplinary clinic.

Debra also practised for five years at the Peninsula Women’s Health Centre in Mornington alongside various medical doctors and specialists. Apart from clinical practice she has given many health talks in community health centres and also for Diabetes Australia.

After graduating Debra became a company member of the Southern School of Natural Therapies and served on the School’s Council. In addition she was acting Victorian Treasurer of the Australian Natural Therapists Association until the birth of her first child in 1987.

Debra resumed the Vice-Chair position on the SSNT School Council in 2004 and after the sale of the college to an education business, and the subsequent formation of the Jacka Foundation for Natural Therapies in 2010, she was elected to the board of directors as Chairperson.

Judy Jacka - Vice-Chair

JudyJacka2236 160Judy Jacka graduated from General Nursing Training at Prince Henry’s Hospital in 1960. She studied natural therapies at the Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT) and graduated with a diploma in 1971. In 1981 she received a post- graduate diploma in Human Relations Education from Melbourne University. In 2001 she upgraded her naturopathic diploma to a bachelor degree in Health Science.

Judy was principal at the SSNT from 1974 to 1985 and chairperson until 1996. She was concerned during this period to create a high standard in both medical and naturopathic sciences within the college. She was particularly interested to help graduates become established in practice using a core synthesis of clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, and homeopathy.  

During the first half of the 1980’s Judy co-ordinated a number of submissions on behalf of SSNT and the naturopathic profession. It was a time when various pieces of proposed state and federal legislation threatened the future of natural therapies.

In 1999, Judy was awarded Life Membership of Australian Natural Therapist Association for her contributions to the profession, education and industry. In 2012 she was given an award by the Complementary Health Care Council of Australia (CHC) in appreciation of ongoing support for the Council.      

Judy has continued in clinical practice for over 40 years plus lecturing at SSNT in naturopathic clinical practice until recently. Her publishing output includes seven books published in the areas of health and healing plus many journal articles. Currently she is vice-chairperson of the Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies and is particularly interested in promoting research which reveals the core synthesis relating all natural and complementary therapies.  

Sandra Dillon - Secretary and Treasurer

Sandra Pic1

Sandra Dillon has been practising Naturopathy, Homoeopathy, Iridology, Herbal Medicine, Vitamin and Mineral Therapy, Remedial Therapies and Bach Flower Essences since graduating from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in 1979. She lectured during the 1980s/90’s in Naturopathy and Homoeopathy at the Southern School of Natural Therapies, Blackmore’s and Brauer Natural Medicines.

Sandra was Administrator/Vice-Principal of the Southern School of Natural Therapies from 1981-1983. She has been a Board Member and Director since 1980 and in 2014 became Secretary/Treasurer of the Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies.

For over 30 years Sandra has provided health care for her clients in private practice as a Naturopath-Homeopath in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and now back in Melbourne.

She has been an active member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society for over 25 years. Previous to this she was an active member and Victorian Chairperson of the Australian Natural Therapies Association.

Sandra’s contributions in private practice, lecturing, administration and professional issues mean she brings a wealth of background experience to her work with the Jacka Foundation.

Enna Szmulewicz - Director

Enna imageEnna graduated from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in 1980 as a Naturopath. She later became a supervisor in the Student Clinic at SSNT and also provided tutorials to students to assist their transition from student to practitioner.

Enna was a Director of the Southern School of Natural Therapies and is currently a Director of The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies, where she feels privileged to be part of a group that has the resources to contribute to the improvement of health and wellbeing in our community.

Her involvement in holistic health and wellbeing lead Enna to an interest in and passion for counselling and psychotherapy; she now has more than 25 years’ experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist. This includes advanced training in bereavement counselling and further specialisation in suicide bereavement. She has lectured in the areas of loss, grief and trauma and currently provides clinical supervision to other counsellors.

As well as being in private practice where her work includes general counseling and psychotherapy, Enna works at Support After Suicide, an agency that provides counselling to the suicide bereaved.

Dr Pauline McCabe - Director

Pauline photo 200x200Pauline has had a long career in health care, in both mainstream and complementary settings. She completed qualifications in naturopathy, acupuncture, nursing, midwifery and aromatherapy which enabled a career as a naturopathic home birth midwife. Subsequently, after a few years in a retail setting (co-founding the Nimbin Apothecary), she turned to teaching and higher education, completing a Masters degree and a PhD. Her academic work led to a position as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing at LaTrobe University, where she developed a double degree in nursing and naturopathy (now defunct).

In 2007 Pauline joined RMIT to work in their online postgraduate wellness program. She developed several courses for the program and was a course coordinator and teacher. She has now retired from most of this work, but still contributes to some of the assessment in an undergraduate wellness elective.

Apart from teaching, since the 1990s Pauline has been very involved in the development of complementary therapy courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, co-written numerous reports, guidelines and position statements relating to complementary therapies and nursing in Australia, contributed to research on the regulatory requirements of naturopathy and herbal medicine, and participated in numerous educational and regulatory committees. She was a member of the steering committee that established the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists. Her publications include journal articles and book chapters in the above areas.

Pauline always harboured a desire to be a philanthropist and was thrilled when a position on the board of the Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies enabled her to live this dream. She is honoured to be able to serve the Foundation and support research capacity building in the naturopathic profession.