2018 Hunter Valley Aromatic Field School

The next field school will be held on 7-8th April, 2018.

Venue: Wattle Ridge, Elderslie.

Watch this space for further details

2017 Field School

Southern Cross Farm.  30 Lindsay Rd Nth. Rothbury NSW 16 -17th September 2017

Rothbury vegetation survey

Field-school-kitchen medicine recipes








Saturday 16th
Introduction, Orientation, Morning tea 9.30-10.15
Plant walk and botanical i/d A Pengelly Field 10.15-11.30
Distillation of essential oils I A Pengelly Class/demo 11.30-1.00

Kitchen and garden medicine


K Bennett





Distillation of essential oils II



A Pengelly


Class/demo 3.30-5.00


Evening.        Campfire and Spring Equinox celebration
Sunday, 17th

Blending native herbs and essential oils into topical

applications and inhalations

Morning tea


A Pengelly








Lichen walk

Organic cultivation of herbs, fruit trees and vegetables

K Bennett

A Pengelly






Beekeeping and medical honey


D Stewart





Rothbury herbarium collection A Pengelly Demo 3.15-4.00
Field botany treasure hunt All Fun event 4.00-5.00


Close                                                                                                    5.00-5.15

Speaker Profiles


Dr. Andrew Pengelly.

Dr. Pengelly was trained in botanical medicine, naturopathy, and homeopathy at the Southern Cross Herbal School, and plant biology and archaeology at the University of New England (Australia).

He established a herbal medicine practice for 18 years, and taught extensively at several herb schools in Australia and internationally, before gaining an appointment as program director of the Bachelor of Herbal Therapies at the University of Newcastle. For his research findings on ethnopharmacology of Australian plants he was awarded a PhD. He is author of the widely used text “The Constituents of Medicinal Plants”.

In 2009 Dr. Pengelly moved to the USA to take on a position with the (then) Tai Sophia Institute, now Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), where he served in the teaching faculty and director of the herb dispensary. In addition, he has been a regular visiting lecturer at the Georgetown University Medical School since 2011.

In 2016 he returned to Australia where he has resumed his field botany, essential oil distillation and research into medicinal and aromatic plants at Southern Cross Farm in the lower Hunter Valley, while continuing to teach online for MUIH.

Dr. Pengelly is a fellow and full life member of the National Herbalists Association of Australia, a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and member of the Essential Oils Producers Assn. of Australia and numerous other organizations. He loves reading novels, listening to music (especially jazz and blues), gardening and hiking around collecting plant specimens and enjoying nature.



Denis Stewart


Denis Stewart has been referred to as the “Godfather of Australian Herbalism” and as spearheading the “Herbal Renaissance” in Australia in the early 1970’s


He has a teaching career in herbal medicine spanning 30 years during which time he constructed the professional examination, curriculum and course of studies for the National Herbalists’ Association of Australia. Denis established and taught the first 3 year ‘full time’ course in Herbal Medicine at the NSW College of Naturopathic Sciences. He then founded the Southern Cross Herbal School in the late 1970’s and taught at both undergraduate and post-graduate level


More recently, Denis helped construct the Bachelor of Herbal Therapies course at the Ourimbah Campus of the University of Newcastle and was appointed a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University in 2002.

Denis Stewart has been in continuous herbal medicine practice for 40 years and presently conducts busy herbal medicine practices in Newcastle and Cessnock.

He is a Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and a Fellow and Life Member of the National Herbalists’ Association of Australia.


Kathleen Bennett


Kathleen M. Bennett: M.S. Clinical Herbal Medicine, B.A. Psychobiology, B.A. Sociology.


Kat is a teacher & lecturer offering workshops in field identification of medicinal plants, immune health, growing native herbs in the home garden, etc. Author/researcher of medicinal plants, flowers and fungi. Publications include the cultivation and sustainability sections of the Appalachian Plant Monographs published jointly by Frostburg University and the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has compiled a large database of medicinal mushrooms, and reviews research literature for the American Botanical Council