Gareth Vanderhope has gone from winning British academy awards for his sound design work on films like Moulin Rouge and Shine, to winning university awards for naturopathy in just a few years.

The Brunswick Heads man, who will graduate from Southern Cross University with a swag of awards on Friday, has just completed a Bachelor of Naturopathy.

In doing so he has also won awards for having the highest grade point average in his cohort, and for the most outstanding clinical and nutritional achievements.

Overwhelmed by his accolades Gareth insisted: “I think everyone who gets through this degree deserves an award.”

Gareth said he has always had dual passions — working with sound and natural medicine.

“As a child I was fascinated by the old herbal and health books that lined my mum’s bookshelves,” he said.

“I couldn’t get enough of them and set about reading every book I could lay my hands on.

“At the same time I had a great passion for music, film and sound recordings, particularly sounds of nature.

“After I finished Year 12 I didn’t feel I had enough life experience to work in health, whereas working in the film industry as a sound designer felt completely right.”

After 12 years in the industry Gareth had reached the pinnacle of his career, having designed sound on over 38 feature films including Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Babe 1 and II, Shine, Moulin Rouge, Dark City and Lorenzo’s Oil.

“I felt like I had achieved everything I wanted,” he said.

“To keep going just didn’t make sense to me.

” It was a spiritual decision really – I needed to explore my passion for health and I wanted to get a university education.

“A friend told me about the Bachelor of Naturopathy degree at Southern Cross University; I looked up the website and was jumping with excitement about the idea.

“Before I knew it my whole life had changed and I loved it.”

Gareth has already found a position as a naturopath at the North Coast Medical Centre in Byron Bay, a clinic where registered doctors, alternative health practitioners and allied health professionals work collaboratively.

“He has also gained casual employment as a clinical trials research assistant at Southern Cross University’s NatMed Research centre.

In total, 1185 students will graduate from Southern Cross University this Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3.

The students represent all of the schools, colleges and departments within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Business and Law.

Of these, there will be 25 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduates and six Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) graduates.

All ceremonies will be held in the Whitebrook Theatre at the Lismore campus.