Our Founding Fathers
Kerry Bone, MediHerb
Kerry Bone has always been driven by the desire to deliver efficacious, superior and quality herbal treatment solutions.
A herbal therapist, associate professor and research and industrial chemist, he is at the forefront of excellence and innovation, making discoveries that help patients achieve better health outcomes.
A frustration with poor quality herbal extracts led Kerry to develop a unique manufacturing method, 1:2 Cold Percolation, which delivers extracts of consistent quality and guaranteed minimum levels of active constituents.
In the early 1990s, Kerry discovered adulteration of Skullcap raw materials and developed methods to identify the correct species. To this day, MediHerb is the only company acknowledged by the Therapeutic Goods Act (TGA) to offer authentic Skullcap.
Dr Townsend Hopkins, Eagle
Born in Uruguay, Townsend first came into contact with naturopathic medicine when he contracted tuberculosis and was nursed back to health with the assistance of natural medicine.
In 1966, he founded Eagle Pharmaceuticals (renamed Eagle) in response to a perceived lack of practitioner-only natural remedies on the Australian market. Townsend worked as the company’s head formulator and researcher, leading a team of scientists and natural therapists to formulate the best nutritional and herbal-based healthcare products for local and export markets.
Townsend’s success in developing advanced and effective naturopathic products is testament to his passion for natural medicine and belief in the correlation between mental, spiritual and physical health.
Mark Barrington Thompson, Thompson’s
A respected English herbalist and man ahead of his time, Mark opened New Zealand’s first health shop, Thompson’s, in 1951.
He sourced herbals and biochemics from England, importing vitamin stocks from the US.
The business prospered, thanks to a groundswell of consumers who recognised the benefits of alternative medicine.
Eventually, Mark bought the rented building in which the business was housed and converted the first floor into a lecture hall from where he shared his knowledge of natural remedies. This building was ultimately transformed into the South Pacific College of Natural Health.
Mark worked as a herbalist until his death in 1979.
Eric White, Thursday Plantation
Convinced of the medicinal applications and benefits of Australian tea tree, Eric White planted his first crop at Bungawalbyn Swamp, New South Wales, in the early 1970s. He spent the next four years researching and lobbying until a crown lease was granted, marking the birth of Thursday Plantation.
He is renwoned internationally as the pioneer of the Australian tea tree industry.
Eric’s step-son, Christopher Dean, was introduced to tea tree after exhausting all efforts to treat an infection in his foot. Despite being told surgery was the only option, his feet were healed within four days of applying the plant.
Having experienced the remarkable healing properties of tea tree, Chris and his wife Lynda moved to Bungawalbyn and planted the first Australian Melaleuca alternifolia. They went on to establish the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association, lobbying for government research support.
Thursday Plantation commenced sustainable and ecologically sound tea tree production in 1988, the Ballina factory distilled its first oil in 1989, and research and development started the following year.