Professor Avni Sali is the Foundation Director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne and a Professor (Honorary) at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland. He was the Founding Head of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. Prior to this appointment he was Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Surgery at the Heidelberg Hospital, in Melbourne.
He is President of the International Council of Integrative Medicine (ICIM) and the immediate past President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA). Professor Sali has been the Australian and New Zealand representative of the International Society for Digestive Surgery. He is on the International Advisory Committee of the Vivekananda Yoga, India; the International Advisory Board of the National Committee on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Indonesia; and on the Integrative Medicine Board of the HSC Medical Center, Malaysia. In addition he is on the International Advisory Board of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is the medical advisor to the Minister of Health, Kosova.
He has served as a director of the Victorian Public Health Research and Education Council and on the Federal Government Complementary Health Care Consultative Forum. Professor Sali was also on the Federal Government Expert Assessment Panel for the National Institute of Complementary Medicine. He has led the Australian Government Biotech Alliance, Complementary Healthcare Mission, to Taiwan.
Professor Sali was President of the Gawler Foundation (equal-first cancer support organization) from 1999 until 2002 and has been a Board Member since its inception. He is on the joint Working Party of the AIMA and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
Professor Sali is a Patron of the Melbourne Therapy Centre (Anthroposophy Principles), Patron of Australians for International Mental Health, Patron of Power Thinking Health Council and Patron of the Cancer and Natural Therapy Foundation.
Professor Sali’s research interests are mostly in integrative medicine including clinical, behavioral, nutritional, herbal and exercise research.
His clinical expertise is in integrative medicine, including cause of disease, cancer, difficult clinical problems as well as health advice. He is author and co-author of five books and several chapters in books. He has had over 300 articles published in medical journals.
Professor Sali is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Evidence Based Integrative Medicine and is on the Editorial Board of several other journals.
He has helped to pioneer health promotion and integrative medicine in this country, especially the importance of nutrition, exercise and the mind and has been teaching in this area since 1978. 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 children’s diets. Professor Sali is frequently invited to speak at local, state, national and international meetings.
He was primarily instrumental in the establishment of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at Swinburne, which was the first School of its kind and predominantly involved in the establishment of the Swinburne University Hospital, which was the first integrative hospital of its type.
Professor Sali has been primarily involved in the establishment of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine which is the first of its type.
In 2002, he was presented with the St Michael’s Award for outstanding community service.
In 2005, he was awarded the Australian Humanitarian Award for contributions to Health.
In 2012, he was honoured to recieve an integrative medicine award in recognition of more than 20 years of service, at the Australasian College of Nutritional Medicine (ACNEM) 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner and awards.
In 2013, Professor Sali received an appointment as Adjunct Professor with the Cairnmillar Institute in Melbourne.
In 2016, Professor Sali was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to integrative medicine as an educator, clinician and researcher, and to professional education”.
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.