Hall of fame


The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association Hall of Fame

The AHA Hall of Fame pays tribute to some of the early pioneers of clinical hypnotherapy in Australia and acknowledges the milestones which have resulted in the development of the profession over the last 65 years.

Click below to read their stories


Harry Berger

Harry was born in the Netherlands and at 17 joined the army. In 1945 when he was 18, he and a number of other soldiers, were sent to Scotland for Commando training. This successfully made men out of boys in just six months. At this point he was recalled to the Netherlands where in 1946, at the tender age of 19, he was stationed as a Platoon Commander and acting Company Commander in Indonesia.

He explains “Our task was to control the many extremists in that country. One of my duties was to sit in during interrogations.

One day I noticed that one of the prisoners appeared to me as NOT your run of the mill prisoners, so I invited him to sit down and have dinner with me. We ended up having a number of such dinners where he told me he was a psychiatrist and we spent many a happy hour discussing his various patients. It was then that I decided that after the war I would like to do something similar, maybe become a psychologist. “

So when he got back to the Netherlands he contacted the appropriate people, only to be told that at the ripe old age of 24 he was considered too old to study psychology, as that was reserved for younger students straight out of high school.  It was then suggested by a friend that he should contact the Australian Embassy, which he did ….They were very helpful and said “Yeah Mate, of course you can study psychology in Australia.” So he came out to Australia where he also became interested in hypnotherapy.

“I heard about the Australian Hypnotherapists Association, applied and sat for my exams…passed and started practicing at Springvale in Victoria and over the last 50 years, have had the privilege of helping a great number of people”.

Harry retired and moved to Port Macquarie but missed Hypnotherapy and restarted his practice there. However after spending 5 nice years there, he decided to return to Melbourne and at the age of 64 started up his old practice. (This was written by Harry 11 years ago, at the time of writing, Harry was 77 and had been awarded Life Membership of the AHA).

Harry finally retired at 84 in 2011 leaving a great legacy in the field of hypnotherapy demonstrated by his practice acknowledged by his Life Membership of the Association.

Harry Berger

Derk Brocx

My Parents were Dutch but I was born in Indonesia, During WWII I spent nearly four years in a Japanese concentration camps on Java at Banju, Biru and Ambarawa. After the war I went to back to Holland and then came to Australia in 1951 on the SS Toscana with John Hemmes, (now a famous Sydney identity).

Over the years I have worked at the CSIRO (Administration); at the Uni. Of WA; Dept. Soil Science (Laboratory) under Prof. Alexander Parker; Then for the next twenty years, I was State Manager for a pharmaceutical company, with a major interest in drugs used in psychiatry, neurology and obstetrics.  Needing a change I went to the U.S. in 1986, to study at the Hypnotism Training Institute of Los Angeles.

In 1994 I decided I wanted to do some more study so attended the Jansen Newman Institute with Michael Yapko. Then in 1996 I again had the urge to study so did a course at TAFE: “Understanding Addictive Behaviour”

In April 1994, I was awarded by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners the “Unsung Hero Award”, “In Grateful Recognition of Relentless Political Activism to Preserve the Open Practice of Hypnotherapy in Australia”.

This twenty year effort of organising; 800 signature petition, Ministerial Submissions in all States, ongoing Submissions to all members of Parliament in WA, even a Submission to the European Parliament (Sub-Committee). Etc. etc.

During this time of Lobbying this was often a joint effort with that great friend and “sleuth” Donald P. March in Melbourne!

The de-regulation of hypnosis in the smaller states, only occurred when Victoria de-regulated hypnosis. Recognition and credit must go to two female lawyers: Hon Mary Teehan, Minister for Health in Victoria, and Ms Bernadette Steele at the  Victorian Department of Health. These two lawyers recognised evidence when provided with a massive amount of scientific evidence. They were prepared to make independent decisions against the prevailing opinions.

In 2005 the WA state government deregulated hypnotherapy and in recognition of my efforts towards this outcome the AHA awarded me Life membership for which I am very grateful.

I have now retired from providing therapy (due to family health issues), however, the fight goes on! Those who prevented and delayed the de-regulation of hypnosis are still at it but the fight must now be taken on by the next generation of hypnotherapists.

Derk Brocx

Beverley Bultitude

My grandfather inspired my childhood imagination; he nurtured my curiosity, with his stories and teachings about nature. I visited my Nan and Pop, on weekends; it was fun, filled with loving affection, encouragement and compliments. My Grandparents vegetable garden was the habitat for many varieties of insects, bugs, lizards and birds.

My Pop loved to tell metaphoric tales which have remained with me. He created nature stories, showing and explaining to me why Caterpillars transform to Butterflies or Moths, likewise Tadpoles to Frogs, etc and explained the positive outcomes.

We sat together on the back steps, enjoying Nan’s scones, the crumbs fell and the ants gathered, and we were able to observed the behaviour of ants. My Pop’s most favourite words were quote, “they plan for a rainy day.”

The Chickens, (chooks) were our main interest for Hypnosis, my Pop was the Master and I was his, little Apprentice, the chook yard was often decorated with hypnotised chooks.
The backyard was a University of learning observing behaviour, seeking positive outcomes, searching for hidden truths, appreciation and respect of values, being patient, perseverance, understanding, focusing and setting goals, planning ahead for that “Rainy day”, and more. I learnt lasting values from these experiences.

I grew up in a bushy, natural area, constantly finding animals and birds, and they were my guinea pigs for hypnotic techniques. As the years progressed, I hypnotised my pet birds, and any other pet or animal I could get my hands on. My Pop said these techniques felt pleasant to them because it was relaxing, so I always thought it was a kind thing to do. My hobby progressed to hypnotizing friends for various reasons, including fun hypnotic entertainment at outings and parties.
Mum loved hypnosis, she had a traumatic childhood Dental experience that resulted in a dread of dental work, after our hypnosis session, she overcome her fears.

Then a local Doctor, offered me the opportunity to join his Medical Centre and I was blessed with referrals from G.Ps, Dentists, Physiotherapists, Orthodontist, Gynaecologists, and all other Professionals (including Legal).

I married in 1963.

Fortunately, I also have the gift of sensitivity (psychic) and am often able to tune into understanding clients needs and often their under lying cause. I am fascinated by the powers of “Invisible Forces” and grasped the opportunity to travel to the Philippines in the “1980’s” researching the Psychic Healers. This was an unforgettable experience.

I enjoy the clinic it is my hobby, helping people to understand and improve their behaviour is always challenging, satisfying and interesting. Hopefully I will continue to be a hypnotherapist for many years to come.

Other opportunities

  • Demonstrations and educational lectures at various clubs, e.g.Rotary,View Clubs, and more

  • Interviewed on Good Morning Australia, with Kerri-Anne Kennally.

  • Participated in Simon Townsend’s TV Children’s Program.

  • Interviewed for Terry Willesie’s TV Current Affairs Program.

  • Weekly case histories segment on Radio.

  • Radio interviews, one which resulted in the inclusion in the book “Discovery Files” with world renown therapists e.g. Deepak Chopra

  • Psyching band members of the Dione Warwick Show. (U.S. Entertainer)

  • Meeting the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

  • Advisor to various TV (soap opera) programs regarding hypnotherapy segments.

  • Psyching celebrities in various sporting fields, motivating and achieving top results.

  • Motivational psyching the Female Australian Champions of Dragon Boat Racing, which involved accompanying the team overseas to Hong Kong and China for the World Championship Competitions.

  • Psyching well-known celebrities of stage and screen, assisting them to enhance their Energy fields and performance.

  • Two hour Radio program in the USA with over 100,000 listeners.

  • By invitation, the opportunity to share my hypnotic experiences with Members of Associations.

  • Entertaining with hypnotic “power of the mind” demonstrations the entertainers of stage and screen at “Alva” (Australian Ladies Variety Association) and enjoying lasting friendships.

  • Lecturing at MBS Festivals, Psychic Fairs etc.

  • Invited to travel interstate and internationally, initiating Seminars, making acquaintances globally.

  • Meeting Professionals from all areas.

  • Involvement in a Special Film Documentary program, based on facts, shown international and nationally.

My experiences

  • My original hypnosis training classroom was the, “University of Hard Knocks”. I collected globally as many informative books, reel to reel tapes etc that I could get my hands on, in the pursuit for more knowledge about “the power of the mind/ hypnosis”.

  • I am a foundation member of the AHA’s, NSW’s Branch when it was formed in 1972 and I am proud to say I was later honoured by the privileged position of “Life Member.”

  • Completed a 3-Year Intensive Psychology Course at the University of Sydney, Department of Adult Education, graduating in 1975.

  • The Health Commission of NSW Intensive Course “Completion Certificate” August 1976 conducted under Senior Trainer, John Pik BA.BD.CM. For Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy.

  • I held the Office, as the AHA Federal Secretary, in the early 1980’s, for 5 years

  • In 1981 after completion of the course, I was accredited and accepted by the Board of Examiners to possess the required qualifications and received the Master Hypnotist Certificate with the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.

  • Registered in 1982 as a “Justice of the Peace”

  • Accepted as a full member of the ASCH in 1982.

  • Received a “Certificate of Appreciation” 26th July 1985 for recognition and sincere appreciation for outstanding services rendered while holding the Office of Secretary.

  • Graduated as a “Reiki 1” and “Advance Reiki 11” practitioner in 1987 and to “Reiki Master, Teacher / Trainer” in 1992.

  • Accepted as a full member of the PCHA IN 2001

  • T.F.T. (Thought Field Therapy) Algorithms Seminar One & Two Course Completion Certificate August 2003.

  • Accredited by the “Australian Counselling Association” in 2004, as a “Professional Supervisor” after completion of the Course and supervision assignment.

  • During the 1980’s the AHA enjoyed fabulous get togethers, parties, BBQ’s, social events, and Christmas parties.

  • Family involvement was the Invisible Thread that kept the association bonded.

  • The association was more like a family reunion each time we met.

Beverley Bultitude is a Foundation member of the NSW branch of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association 1972. She has been in Professional full time practice since 1962. Her Clinic and Seminar Rooms are at Caringbah, NSW, close to the local Doctors’ Rooms & Hospitals. 

Beryl Huntingdon

I am a Life member of the AHA having been a Member since 1984.

I became interested in Hypnotherapy in the 70’s, when Beverley Bultitude was practicing Hypnotherapy in the Medical Clinic at Cronulla, NSW and Beverley invited me to assist her in the clinic.

I studied with Bev and also attended a course with the “NSW School of Hypnotic Science,” attaining the Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy, December 1978. This offered me the opportunity to join the ASCH.

I shared Professional Medical Clinic Rooms in Cronulla, NSW’s with Bev, and when Bev decided to move to larger premises, I moved with her.  The clinic continued to expand hence my studies continued. I attended “The Academy of Natural Therapeutics” graduating November 1980 with a “Diploma of Swedish Massage.”   I   joined their Association, adding another bow to my string and a valuable addition to the practice.

In the 1980’s, an opportunity presented itself for me to visit the Philippines and research the Psychic healers, it was an unbelievable  experience.

In 1981, after completing their course, I was found suitable by the Board of Examiners to possess the qualifications required by The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and was issued a Master Hypnotist Certificate.

In November 1982 I was accepted to a full member of the ASCH.

In 1983 I attended a 3 Year Intensive Course in General Psychology, at the University of Sydney, Department of Adult Education, and proudly accepted my graduating Certificate.

Our clinic was then offering a number of variations of self-improvement therapies and it was then that a further addition was included, and that was “Cocoon’s Float Tanks”.

Bev and I with our individual clients were able to extensively gain quickening healing results with the use of the tanks, because we communicated with the floating client via the microphone, and in tank speakers.  Our positive hypnotic suggestions would be delivered with magnified, powerful influence.

Then I joined the AHA in June 1984, after passing the examination requirements.

When the AHA’s Head Office moved from Victoria to NSW I accepted the position of Treasurer, to manage the federal finances. At the time of the transfer the AHA had a nil balance of funds. I pride myself on my ability to organise and raise the funds resulting in the account swelling to approximately $16,000,00, during my 5 years on the Executive. (I was tight with the money distribution thus earning the reputation and nickname of “SCROOGE”).  This  “ Financial Gain” became the basis for the incoming Executors to further enhance the Association’s position.

During my time as Treasurer, the Association met all accounts, including the financing of wonderful social engagements and entertainment. The AHA members enjoyed social get togethers and celebrations, which often included fabulous mind magic illusions. I made lasting friendships with colleges and their families.

April 1987, I attended  the Basic Reiki I Course and the Advance Reiki 11 Course.  In July 1994, I graduated as a Reiki Master.  I assisted Beverley with the Reiki seminars, teaching and initiating new students to Reiki. Reiki is a unique, subtle, loving, energy force and it focus’s on Holistic healing, the Mental, Emotional, Physical and the Spirit. Dr Deepak Chopra speaks of the combination of these four elements in his books.  I have been interviewed on Radio several times including a 2-hour program in San Francisco to an audience in excess of 100,000 work commuters.

One of my most remarkable memories of clinical experiences was to work in the United States for 3 months in 1989.

In March 1992, the AHA presented me with a “Certificate of Appreciation”, in recognition and sincere appreciation for outstanding services rendered while holding the office of Treasurer. It is a certificate I truly value.

I enjoyed the clinic, counselling, hypnotising, massaging, including the float tank therapies with clients for over 25 years, before I decided to semi retire in 2003.  I continue to assist Bev with reception, appointments, inquires, organising the Reiki Seminars and attending to clinical paperwork.

I have 3 children, 2 daughters, one son and 8 grandchildren, the eldest grandchild is 26 years old. My life is full of wonderful experiences and the benefits are treasures I appreciate and value forever.

Beryl Huntingdon

Joe Kee

I have told my story many times, so I will mention a number of incidents that happened along the way. They say people on a mission in life are the survivors; well I have been on one for sixty years and still going. Although there have been many ups and downs. Upper most in mind is the saying “The road to success is always under construction.”

As a school boy I was always interested in Hypnotism. I was one of the original pioneers of hypnosis in Australia, and participated in forming the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association in 1948.

I was born in Melbourne and as a sixteen year old I did a number of concerts for charity, during World War II. They were called 3M shows. “Music, Magic and Mystery.” At the age of eighteen I was in the armed services, three months into my training I was involved in the Japanese Outbreak at Cowra. A horrific experience and days later I was in the burial group. This changed my life forever.

On my discharge from the army I started the Newcastle Hypnotherapy Clinic. I wanted to help people. I have been married to a Newcastle girl, Beryl for 61 years and have two daughters, Cheryl and Lisa. Both became full members of the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association and have now retired after many years of practice. I have always promoted Hypnotherapy giving talks at Rotary, View and Probus Clubs. Also, T.V., Radio etc.

In 1958 I was the first Hypnotherapist taken to court by the Health Department, for imposing my will on people and for advertising. This made the National News and business has never looked back. I was fined £10.00

A week later I was visited by a professional wrestler who had a gym in town and who dabbled in Hypnosis. He told me to get out of town within a week. But I am still here 60 years later.

My interests have been many. Gardening, 1st Prize (3 years), Walking, Businesses, Mind Aerobics, Sound Being, (balance your mind and body). In 1989 I was given an opportunity to work in the Honolulu Hypnotherapy Group. I declined because who was going to look after my garden? I was selected by a Russian Group as a member of their experimental group.
In 1976 I went to America to meet a Psychiatrist who was using hypnosis. On arriving at his clinic in San Francisco I was told he had committed suicide a few days earlier. I was greatly disappointed and when I came back to Australia, I gave a talk at the Regent Hotel, “Who cares for the caretaker while he is taking care.”??

A night I will never forget, I was giving a demonstration of Hypnosis at the City Hall for the Lord Mayors Charity Appeal in 1952 when halfway through the Lord Mayor came onto stage and stopped the show with the announcement that King George had died. It was a capacity crowed. This was the end of my stage career.

I have been a member of many community groups –

  • Past President of NSW branch of AHA

  • Past President, National AHA (25 years inclusive)

  • Past President, Newcastle Business Club (Life member 52 years)

  • Past President, Newcastle Forum Club

  • Past President, Newcastle Probus Club

In 2003 I was told I had end stage renal failure and spent 3 years on dialysis and told I would be having treatment for the rest of my life. Using self hypnosis I have now been off treatment for 21 months, but I have to be careful. So far so good, thanks to “The Power of the Mind.”

I am also sending you a copy of my work of some many years ago, I would always include a poem or two in my after dinner talks. This one came from, “Those Magnificent Men and their Hypnotic Techniques: 1986 in New Zealand – I thought that it might be good for the magazine, it has never been published before…

Give it a go

‘Be not the first by whom the new is tried
Nor the last to cast the old aside.’
In those sage words lie comfortable security,
A smug career, respectable obscurity.
I don’t know how we’d ever learn—do you?—
Unless someone dared try out something new.
For doesn’t each worthwhile technique we’re sharing
Come from someone’s imaginative daring?
Without those pioneers who took the plunges,
We might as well be rows of passive sponges,
With time-approved conventions quite obsessive,
Mentally programmed not to be progressive.
Perhaps you’re not an Einstein, Freud or Moses,
Yet you’ve a lot to offer to Hypnosis—
Try something new sometime. Yes, risk derision!
Learn from the past to gain a clearer vision!
Always remember, if you’d reach a star,
Never lose sight of what and where you are!
(Strangely, you’ll find that your rear-vision mirror
Enables you to see the future clearer.)

So here’s the message from your old mate Joe:
Don’t be too timid, friend! Give it a go!
Don’t spurn the past, yet never fear the new!
(The next big name we talk of could be you!)

Joe Kee. F.L.A.H.A.

Joe Kee passed away on the August 28, 2012 aged 86.

David Kennedy

I have been a counsellor for over 50 years, beginning my working life as a church minister. I first came in contact with hypnosis in the early 1980’s when given a tape during an illness, not knowing it was hypnosis originally, but recognising the profound change that I experienced, I became curious about the control over our bodies and mind that was available to all of us.

After undergoing training in traditional hypnosis, I became aware that I had been using hypnotic techniques with the people who had been coming to me for help in my role as community counsellor.

My original training was revolutionised in 1990 when I came in contact with the concepts of the American psychiatrist, Dr Milton Erickson, M.D. From that point, I have incorporated the idea of client-centered, individually based therapy in both my practice and teaching. I can think of no more satisfying role for myself in this world than helping people change themselves using therapeutic hypnosis.

After coming to Queensland in the late eighties, along with setting up practices on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, I became involved in the long struggle for legislative change. I was a delegate to the historic 1994 Qld Government Legislative Review Committee. The outcome of our efforts resulted in changes to the law and deregulation of the practice of hypnosis in this state. The result is wide acceptance of clinical hypnotherapy.

I represented the AHA for a number of years in Queensland as state executive officer. In 2007 I was pleased to be presented with life membership of the AHA.

Over the years I have presented hypnosis on radio and television, culminating in a nationwide presentation of hypnotherapy on Channel Nine’s ’What’s Good For You’.

Being in my middle seventies now, I continue seeing clients, but spend most of my time teaching clinical hypnosis and mentoring other therapists. Through the years of clinical practice I have learned a lot from the people I have seen, and it is my continuing passion to spread the word.

Like Harry Berger, I just may have to retire some day…

David Kennedy

David Kennedy passed away on the 15/11/18

Onsy Mattar

In 1972, I was a practicing psychologist in Macquarie Street, Sydney. In the room next to me was a Hypnotherapist called James Ballantine who was Secretary of the AHA at that time. We used to talk about hypnotherapy and James gave me some tapes to listen to.

Then I became very interested in hypnotherapy and I wanted learn hypnosis. James said, “O.K.” I will teach you. Through James, I also got to know Warwick Batman. Then I saw a school advertising the teaching of hypnosis and I did a course.

At the time I was the only Arabic speaking psychologist and Hypnotherapist in Sydney and all the Doctors were sending people to me in Macquarie Street. I met a Syrian Doctor who suggested I come to Bankstown one day a week. I then met another specialist surgeon in Fairfield Heights that I met at a party who also asked me to give him one day a week.

After 11 years I was so busy that I dropped the Fairfield Heights day and concentrated at the Macquarie and Bankstown practices. Jim became sick and he gave me his practice as well. I divided my time between psychology and hypnosis.

When the building in Macquarie Street was sold, I closed my practice in Sydney and solely concentrated since then at Bankstown. I have now been here 30 years. Other Doctors approached me and I do some work every second Friday at Hassal Grove and every Wednesday at Marrickville.

After 33 years I am still working. (However, I have cut my hours down – I now don’t start till 10:00am and finish approximately between 6:00 to 8:00pm.)

In my early days, psychologists did not need to be registered and I was one of the first psychologist’s to be registered in March 1991.


Onsy Mattar has been a member of the AHA, since 1975.
He has been a member of The Australian College of Private Consulting Psychologists, since 1980, a member of The Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists since 1980, and a member of the International Academy of Eclectic Psychotherapists since 1983.
He has been awarded the honorary title of Doctor.
He is also the current President of The Institute of Australian Egyptian Culture.

Roy Williamson

Well I grew up in the UK and in 1946 after being discharged from the Royal Navy I immigrated to Australia where I started work as a carpenter.

Not long afterwards I met my future wife Lorraine, got married and started to build our house in Regent. Building work was scarce at the time so my father in law suggested I apply for a job as a ward assistant at Bundoora Repatriation Hospital. The reasoning behind his suggestion was the unusual working hours of two days on and two days off which would give me plenty of time to work on our house.

I became so interested in the subject of psychiatry that I applied for the position of student nurse. I completed my three years study, eventually became a charge nurse, got really interested in normal and abnormal psychology and in the course of these studies I came across a text book entitled “Hypnotherapy of war neurosis” by Dr. John Watkins. That started my interest and eventual fascination of using hypnosis in treating some of the patients in the hospital with some encouraging results.

At that moment in time the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association had just formed and I happened to come across an advertisement in a magazine by Peter Murray, Hypnotherapist who was one of the original members. I contacted Peter who invited me to his clinic to exchange views on our respective interests. Peter’s knowledge of psychiatry and abnormal psychology was limited as was my knowledge of hypnosis. So, Serendipity!!

I met the other members; Paul Savage, Eddie Leech and James Momson. Eventually I was interviewed, tested and examined and became the 8th member of the A.H.A., after which we held monthly meetings lasting all day – literally teaching each other and exchanging ideas and knowledge.

Roy Williamson

Leslie Bullock

With permission from Leslie Bullock’s family we put down Les’s own writings as submitted at the Australian Hypnotherapists Associations’ (AHA) 50th Anniversary dinner 10 years ago. Les was with us in September 2009 to celebrate the AHA’s 60th Anniversary of Foundation as well as the AHA’s first World Conference. It is with pride that we are able to print his memoir of his part in the formation and struggles of those early years of Hypnotherapy in Australia. He will be sadly missed, but always remembered for his pioneering spirit and dedication to the Art and Science of Hypnotherapy. Leslie Stanley Bullock, 12th October 1925 – 14th May 2010.

The Early History of the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association in New South Wales by Les Bullock

Approximately 30 to 33 years ago Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia all introduced legislation to restrict the use of hypnosis.

In the very early 70’s, I was concerned that restrictions might be imposed on our practices in New South Wales. I contacted the two members of the AHA in New South Wales, Joe Kee and Warwick Bateman and asked if it would be possible for me to join. They said that I would have to contact the members in Victoria and make a formal application, so I made a special trip to Melbourne to see if the AHA would be prepared to accept me.

They were all very pleasant and friendly and showed me their clinics and showed me exactly how they were working. However, they said that restrictions were now in force and they didn’t want to jeopardise their position by accepting other members.

I was very disappointed and so when I returned to Sydney I rang all the hypnotherapists listed in the Sydney Yellow pages and suggested we get together to discuss the possibility of forming an Association. Most came along, and at the meeting it was decided to form an Association which we called the NSW Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (or a very similar name).

Eventually we were joined by Warwick Bateman and Joe Kee, who were the only two members of the AHA in NSW. Once our organisation was formed, a South Australian Hypnotherapy group asked us to merge with them.

However, I wrote to the AHA in Melbourne, told them what we had done, and that their two NSW members had also joined us. I also mentioned that we had been approached by a South Australian organisation but we would prefer to merge with the AHA if they were prepared to have us. I suggested we would dissolve our organisation and become the NSW branch of the AHA if they agreed.

Les Bullock with fellow hypnotists Martin St James and Gil Boyne

The AHA replied that they would be happy to have us, provided we could pass their exam and would be prepared to abide by their Code of Ethics. Accordingly the President and one other executive member came to Sydney and held examinations and psychological tests. All of our members were accepted except two.

As the years went by, one by one the various States introduced restrictive legislation. Time and time again there were attempts to introduce similar laws into New South Wales. Throughout those years I did most of the negotiating with the politicians and spent a lot of time obtaining publicity for our cause.

Until recently, NSW was the only major State in Australia where the free open practice of hypnosis is allowed. All the other States gave in. We fought back. However it has been a constant battle. There have been numerous attempts to introduce bills, but we always managed to defeat them, often with great difficulty, but we survived.

I believe that if I hadn’t rung up all the Sydney therapists and got them to organise into a group, the NSW branch of the AHA as it exists today, would never have come into being.

Joe and Warwick were quite happy to coast along as the only AHA representatives in New South Wales. Only a few Victorians are left now, and I believe by now the AHA would have been on the verge of extinction, with most of the members retired or about to retire. Also if I hadn’t done all the things that I did, the legislation would have been introduced into New South Wales and our profession would have gradually died out right around Australia, except for doctors, dentists and psychologists.

Les Bullock passed away on the 14th May 2010 aged 84 years.

Paul Savage

Born in Mordialloc , 1st son to Frank and Olive Savage

At 16 he met the love of his life, 15 yr old Maureen . He joined the Merchant Navy and boarded the SWEDISH SHIP,  Goonawarra, a mess boy to the crew and had two trips to San Francisco in 1943.  He bunked with the only English speaking person on board.   He took his banjo with him but constantly played  “Red sails in the sunset” and then he learnt “Lovely Hula hands” but because of the repetition, a sailor finally grabbed the banjo and threw it overboard.

When he was 18 he joined the RAAF and trained at Tocumwal near Shepparton.  He came out of WW11 as a Medical Orderly, then back in civilian life he became an Ambulance Officer.

At 20 he married Maureen, continuing many jobs to provide for his wife and two young children Annette and Leon.  He did some nursing training at Larundal Pyschiatric Hospital , then an Industrial Nurse at Berger’s Paints,  thus the yearning to learn more in the Medical Field.

His interest in Hypnotherapy was growing, he started his part time clinic in Box Hill, whilst working part time at Fairfield Infectious Diseases, mainly assisting with the polio victims in iron lungs.  Then before he knew it the Box Hill Hypnotherapy Clinic was full time and Paul and Maureen felt comfortable enough to have two more children.  Paul and Diane.

Paul’s dedication to helping people towards a better life was the mainstay of his profession as a pioneering hypnotherapist during the 1960’s. So convinced was he of his path in life that he took on the state health authorities in a David and Goliath battle of wills, in which he and his colleagues ultimately won out against the government health bureaucracy that was mired in the conservative medical practices of the past.

He was also a founding member of the Australian Hypnotherapy Association and he is mentioned in Hansard  ~ Victorian Parliament gaining official recognition on date 19 July 1967

Victoria Gazette and naming all members (9) as the only legal Hypnotherapists not having a Psychology qualification to practice.

This win against all odds was made official with legislation that allowed him and his colleagues to practice under government regulation their chosen profession without the threat of state government litigation. He founded with his colleagues, the Australian Hypnotherapy Association of which he became the president and included members from all over Australia. He was an active member until retiring maybe only 10-12 years ago. The AHA now has representation in every state of Australia.

Paul certainly was a progressive thinker at a time when mental health was little understood and now nearly 50 years on we are hearing the words ‘counselling’, ‘therapy’, ‘healing’, psychotherapy or “talk therapy” popping up in everyday conversation.  Paul was part of a new wave of thinkers that wanted to make a difference to the medical profession. He had a belief, that mental health was just as important as psychical health.

As life was becoming more complex, there was a need in society for a more advanced approach to health, and through the  vision of people like Paul, the fringes of hypnotherapy have become part of the mainstream health treatments for the benefit of  us all.

Paul ran a successful hypnotherapy practice for many years, testament to his studious research, progressive ideas, determination  to succeed and not least the numerous people he helped.

Paul Savage passed away in December 2013.