The Blackmores Foundation has made a $10 million donation to Southern Cross University's research into naturopathic medicine
The Blackmores Foundation has made a $10 million donation to Southern Cross University's research into naturopathic medicine DAN PELED

$10m for uni research into naturopathic medicine

A RECORD $10 million donation by a vitamin company will support a Northern Rivers university's research into naturopathic medicine.

On Wednesday morning Southern Cross University announced that vitamin king Marcus Blackmore AM, together with his wife Caroline, made a record $10 million personal donation which is both the largest, single donation ever given to the university and the largest personal gift to a university from the Blackmore Foundation.

Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the gift would be used to establish a National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine at SCU 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," he said.

"We are proud to be the first Australian university to offer higher education qualifications in naturopathy (and) this will enable Southern Cross to provide distinctive career pathways and ongoing development for the profession, as well as increased research capability".

Mr Blackmore received an honorary doctorate in 2006 and serves on the SCU Foundation board.

Prof Shoemaker said the combination of Mr Blackmore's passion and belief along with the university's evidence-based research rigour would be formidable.

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

For Mr Blackmore the significance lies in the final wish of his father, the late Maurice Blackmore, that naturopathy be properly recognised and respected as a profession.

"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," he said.

"We have a responsibility to respond to the growing health care needs of Australia and evidence-based natural medicine will play an increasingly active role in that response."

SCU said it has been a leader in complementary medicine tertiary education since the university was founded 25 years ago.

In 2017 Mr Blackmore, was ranked 137 on the AFR Rich List with a wealth of $594 million, up 12.3 per cent from $529 million in 2016.



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