Marcus Blackmore AM and his wife Caroline have made a record $10 million personal donation to the university to open a centre for naturopathic medicine

It is the largest, single donation ever given to Southern Cross University and the largest personal gift to a university from the Blackmore Foundation.

Marcus Blackmore said the significance of the donation lies in the final wish of his father, the late Maurice Blackmore, that naturopathy be recognised and respected as a profession.

Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the gift would be used to establish a National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University, to engage in naturopathic medicine higher education, research, and engagement with the profession.

“We aim to establish an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in naturopathic medicine education and associated research. We are proud to be the first Australian university to offer higher education qualifications in naturopathy. This will enable Southern Cross to provide distinctive career pathways and ongoing development for the profession, as well as increased research capability,” said Professor Shoemaker.

Mr Blackmore added: “This is a very special day for Caroline and myself, both in helping to achieve my father’s legacy, and my own passion to see the continued advancement of naturopathic education and critical health research in this country.”

Blackmores is an Australian health supplements company founded in the 1930s by naturopath Maurice Blackmore.

It grew from a tiny dispensary in Queensland to become a leading brand offering a range of more than than 250 vitamins, minerals, herbal and nutritional supplements.

Today Blackmores is an ASX 200 company with a market capitalisation of $2 billion.

It has consistently been voted by Australians as the Reader’s Digest ‘Most Trusted Brand’ in the vitamins and supplements category, winning the title for the past 10 years in a row.

Work begins immediately on the new centre with a planned opening in 2019.