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About Us

Dr Lesley Braun, Director

Dr Lesley Braun is Director of the Blackmores Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney.

Lesley is a pharmacy graduate from Monash University and a qualified naturopath.

She is a member of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Advisory Council which advises the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA),  Executive committee for the Complementary and Integrative Medicine interest group for the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), Advisory Committee for the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA), member of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research and several working groups for the National Institute for Complementary Medicine (NICM).

Lesley is also the main author of the best selling textbook ‘ Herbs and Natural Supplements – an evidence based guide’ –published by Elsevier, a regular columnist for the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP), lecturer at Monash University and regularly presents at national and international conferences on various topics within the large field of integrative medicine, in addition to her own complementary medicine research projects. Lesley’s own research has focused on public health issues relating to complementary medicine use and safety in addition to conducting clinical trials within a hospital setting using complementary medicine and nutritional approaches. 

Pam StonePam Stone, Director of Education

Pam has been with Blackmores for 26 years. Her career with the company has spanned the Advisory, public relations and education areas and she has lectured extensively in the Asia Pacific region to health professionals on a broad range of health topics. 

She is a naturopath with over 30 years experience and over that time has witnessed a profound change in attitudes to natural healthcare. She is passionate about the need to educate health professionals in the quality use of complementary medicines so they can assist consumers to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing and can effectively integrate complementary medicine into patient care, which will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for Australians.

Chris Oliver, Research Director 

Chris has a healthcare background having studied agriculture, nutrition and public health and has a keen interest in integrative medicine and also matters relating to body composition and ageing, and also meta-analysis.

Chris has worked in private practice, academia, clinical trials, and with industry in R&D.

At Blackmores Institute Chris will help you get deeper insights into issues around complementary medicine as well as whatever is topical but particularly around clinical trials and their design and interpretation.

Laura Macfarlane
Laura Macfarlane, Editor and Senior Writer

Laura is a journalist with a healthcare background and a keen interest in integrative medicine and holistic and universal healthcare.

Her journalism experience over the last 10 years has been almost exclusively in the area of health and medical writing for both professionals and consumers.

Laura has worked for Reuters Health (New York City); NPS Medicinewise (National Prescribing Service); Reed Business Information (Australian Doctor and Specialist Updates).

At Blackmores Institute Laura is responsible for keeping you up to date with the latest information on research into complementary medicine sourced in peer-reviewed journals, via both the Institute’s website and a weekly email newsletter.

As editor, Laura also commissions and oversees the generation of research and opinion pieces from a wide variety of experts in the CM arena including medical professionals, pharmacists, dietitians and research scientists.

Tiffany ElvyTiffany Elvy, Communications Manager

Tiffany is a communications professional with a passion for natural health and more than 15 years experience supporting the fields of health, nutrition, sport, and wellbeing. 

Since joining Blackmores in 2007 Tiffany has worked with a range of healthcare professionals to communicate the benefits of natural health and medicine and how a holistic approach to diet and lifestyle can enhance this further.

As communications manager Tiffany works with Blackmores Institute’s team of experts to develop credible, evidence-based natural health information to share with the wider community of healthcare professionals and researchers. 

This includes the development of major educational events, like the Blackmores Institute Symposium, media relations and liaison with research bodies and partners like the National Institute of Complementary Medicine, Macular Disease Foundation and Heart Research Institute.

JulieanneAtkinsonJulie-Anne Atkinson, Manager Blackmores Advisory Service

Julie-Anne manages the Blackmores Advisory Service, incorporating the Healthcare Professional Support Service. The Advisory Service is a dedicated team compromised of qualified naturopaths who have a collective experience base in healthcare spanning over 200 years. 

She too is a naturopath and also has qualifications and a wealth of experience in health science and nursing.

Julie-Anne not only manages, but supports and mentors the advisory team which has a keen focus on evidence based complementary medicine, and is available to provide both comprehensive professional support and information to healthcare professionals and health and wellness advice for consumers.

Our history

Blackmores spearheaded the natural health industry in Australia. The company's founder, Maurice Blackmore, was a naturopath whose life's journey sought to provide natural health solutions to people. Maurice developed some of the first naturopathic products in the country, opened one of Australia’s first health food stores and naturopathic clinics, published the first consumer and industry journals and established the nation’s first naturopathic education facility.

Maurice Blackmore established a number of educational bodies. To honour and continue his work, the Maurice Blackmore Research Foundation (MBRF) was established in 1983 as a research-oriented educational institution.  The Foundation’s initial communiqué noted, “it would have been Maurice Blackmore’s unselfish wish that the outcome of research and education undertaken by the Foundation should benefit the community as a whole and we see the Foundation as being largely the extension of his visions.”

The Foundation’s first project was to host an International Symposium of Nutritional Therapy in Sydney.  This was followed by a number of research papers presented at a second symposium. In 1985 the Foundation turned its focus to research studies. During 1986 the MBRF funded one of Australia’s first naturopathic research teams. 

Blackmores has continued to set the standard in natural medicine, combining the best of nature and science to deliver products that help people achieve optimum health. Now our goal is to take knowledge about the natural health industry to the next level, with the development of Blackmores Institute.

This website

This website ( is our online platform for Australian and New Zealand healthcare professionals to receive news, updates and articles related to our activities and on other topics related to the natural health and wellbeing and the quality use of natural medicines.  Healthcare professionals can also participate in online discussion and sign up to our research and education initiatives.

The information on this website is intended for Australian and New Zealand healthcare professionals only and is not intended for the general public.  Consumers needing healthcare advice should talk to their healthcare professional.


Blackmores Institute functions as the research and education division of Blackmores Limited, one of Australia’s leading natural health product companies.

Blackmores Institute is a part of Blackmores but is independent at heart. We are set up as a platform to provide an evidence-based approach to complementary medicine.

We recognise that in some cases, the work we do will have an impact on the commercial side of the business. Notwithstanding, our activities will, at all times, withstand public and professional scrutiny and conform to professional and community standards of ethics and good taste.

Blackmores Institute Symposium 2014 Presentations and Toolkit iBook


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