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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

Being A Peacemaker Means Being A Catalyst For Positive Change

I've recently been nominated as a finalist for the 2021 Peacemakers Awards in the category of The Young Peacemaker of The Year. There were a few criteria I had to fit for this category.

My age and being within the first 3 years of business. The criteria also said "Young Peacemakers bring along with them fresh ideas, strategies and perspectives that mentors, supervisors, principals and other businesses can learn greatly from. This award recognises outstanding performance for a young individual who has recently started out in their professional industry, but displays an attitude and objective for their career to be distinctive and against the traditional narrative."

Currently, individuals who experience physical and mental symptoms of chronic disease are entitled to an ‘Enhanced Primary Care’ Plan to help them manage the disease.

The Peacemakers Awards hosted by Dispute Resolution Centre Australia (DRCA) will recognise, celebrate and showcase the incredible contributions of multidisciplinary professionals in Australian Alternative Dispute Resolution and Collaborative Practice. Not just for Lawyers, the unique Awards will honour Australian Mediators, Arbitrators, Psychologists, Life Coaches, Innovators and Life, Financial, Business, Property, Health and Wellness Experts who play a meaningful role in creating positive industry change for the better. I will be celebrating the achievements of collaborative colleagues on 8th October 2021 with a first-of-its-kind virtual ceremony hosted by the Executive Committee.

Good health comes from achieving balance amongst the various aspects of wellness which encompass Body (Fitness, Sleep, Food, Fluids); Mind (Mood, Emotions, Attitude); Spirit (Purpose, Faith, Vision, Empowerment). To achieve wellness we need to actively work on all areas. This may require guidance from a Nutrition Specialist (like myself), Skincare Specialist, Financial Advisor, Mediator, Fitness Coach, Empowerment Coach, Psychologist, Alternative Healer and other professionals as all aspects of life will directly or indirectly affect wellness.

Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is power. Taking action is power.

Through the FY of 2020-21, I focused on combining my passion for nutrition, fitness and lifestyle medicine to become a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist. Becoming an Accredited Health Coach has enabled me to understand, communicate and action my role as a Nutrition and Wellness Specialist, instead of choosing between my credentials as a Dietitian and Fitness Professional.

I am delighted to be named as a finalist in the category of The Young Peacemaker of The Year and proud of my achievements. Over the past year, through COVID19 lockdowns I created a platform which would communicate my passion for Wellness. I have recently rebranded this platform to ‘NuFit Wellness’. The NuFit Wellness platform has enabled me to facilitate peace in my industry by Communicating Nutrition & Fitness guidelines, evidenced-based practice and research in a way relatable to my audience, Connecting with those who seek guidance, Educating when prompted, Having clients share and learn from experiences to move forward, Encouraging, evoking and sparking motivation for lifestyle changes.

Looking back at your first years of professional practice, what are you most proud of? What changes in the industry do you think need to occur? How are you assisting in implementing these recommendations?

As a Dietitian, during my undergraduate degree and in my first year of professional practice, I experienced working at South East Regional Hospital (Bega) and Prince of Wales Hospital (Sydney). I worked on the renal, neurological, stroke, medical, surgical and rehabilitation wards. I witnessed many mentally and physically debilitating diseases. I saw the effects of chronic disease on patients and their loved ones. This was a challenging experience which has given me a greater appreciation for dietetics as a profession.

When I moved on from the hospital setting, I decided to focus on the opposite of chronic disease. Prevention through Lifestyle Medicine. I have a wide range of experience and knowledge in Nutrition, Fitness and Mindfulness. I have been able to tie these together through Health Coaching. Many individuals have already had education and know what they should be doing to achieve good health. Being a Health Coach means assisting individuals translate their knowledge into actions. Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is power. Taking action is power. Focusing on Lifestyle Medicine means I am able to guide clients in all areas of wellness, to achieve optimal health. There is no “one size fits all” in wellness. Being a Holistic Health Coach, with a broad range of knowledge means I am able to tailor the approach to the client.

Looking back on my first year of professional practice, I am most proud of combining my passions to become a Holistic Health Practitioner and advocate for Lifestyle Medicine, focusing on disease prevention. Through personal and professional development, networking with professionals on the same mission, with the same values, I am assisting in implementing change in my industry. Currently, individuals who experience physical and mental symptoms of chronic disease are entitled to an ‘Enhanced Primary Care’ Plan to help them manage the disease. Imagine a healthcare system that in addition to primary care, promotes, rewards and encourages health behaviour and lifestyle changes which prevent disease and the subsequent effects on patients, family and friends. Imagine a healthcare system that offers ‘Lifestyle Medicine’ Plans which refer clients onto a Health Coach specialising in Nutrition & Fitness BEFORE they experience the symptoms of chronic disease. Becoming a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist and advocating for Lifestyle Medicine is the beginning of my journey to create and navigate change within my industry.

What does being a Peacemaker mean to you?

A Peacemaker has many roles, distinctive and admirable qualities. My personal struggles and triumphs have provided me with a great level of compassion, empathy and moulded me into an insightful, resilient and trustworthy individual. I help individuals, couples and groups move forward towards making health behaviour changes. I educate and guide with all things related to nutrition and fitness. I help people gain a healthy relationship with food and exercise, their mind and body. I help them make peace with where they currently are on their health journey and nourish their motivation to achieve their health vision.

Being a Peacemaker in the Health and Wellness industry means I am an advocate for Wellness. I promote health and wellbeing, evoke, support and encourage behaviour changes which lead to optimal and holistic health. Being a Peacemaker means my actions are in line with my values and beliefs. I am non-judgmental, have a positive attitude and help individuals turn their obstacles into opportunities for change. During setbacks, Peacemakers identify strengths and resilience, nurture a growth mindset and learn from failure to moving closer towards success. Being a Peacemaker means being a catalyst for positive change.

It is challenging for one to go against the grain of how their industry operates. Progress trumps perfection every time. Creating change might be difficult and messy! It is crucial to surround yourself with like minded people on the same mission. Together we are much stronger and much more useful. This is why I will be attending the Peacemaker Awards next Friday, October 8th with all the other peacemakers and catalysts for positive change!

Read more at The winners of the premiere Peacemakers Awards will be announced at an online event October 8th and thereafter published to their website. For more information on the Executive Committee whose passion drove the inception of the Awards, please visit: or contact them via email at Dispute Resolution Centre Australia (DRCA) is a collaborative collective of legal professionals, allied professionals, mediation/arbitration facilities and resources providing all your needs in one single location, regardless of the dispute.

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