Born in 1936 in Nundah, Terrence Anthony White, grew up to become a pharmacist,
politician and a successful businessman.
Attending the Sister's of Mercy Convent in Sandgate and St Columban's at Albion, he was determined to attend Nudgee College as a high school student and even tried to enrol himself at that school.
His mechanic father Bill, couldn't afford the school fees, so he paid them by providing maintenance on the school's vehicles for free.
After high school, White decided on the recommendation of a friend to study pharmacy. White endured 73 interviews with master pharmacists to find a position as an apprentice, before finally receiving a position at a pharmacy in Scarborough.
After graduating as a pharmacist in his own right, White purchased a pharmacy at Woody Point in 1958.
Terry White's chemist shop at Woody Point, C.1959
Terry White and Rhonda Conn were married in 1961 and it was to form the basis of a successful partnership in life and in business.
Terry was supportive of his wife building a career, and Rhonda opened her first pharmacy at Clontarf in 1964.
With each then having a pharmacy, Rhonda demonstrated her marketing gifts by reworking Terry’s suggested brand of “Terry and Rhonda White”, adopting instead “Terry White Chemists”, which has gone on to become a national brand name.
Terry White Margate was the third Chemist opened in Redcliffe:
His Love of politics drove him to the United States, where he became a member of John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign team.
Returning to Australia he joined the Queensland Branch of the Liberal Party and was subsequently elected to Parliament as the member for Redcliffe in 1979.
As a member of the Liberal party in a National Party dominated coalition government, he advocated a greater say for the Liberal Party. This brought him into conflict with the then Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the Liberal leader Liew Edwards.
Terry White. Photo from the Moreton Bay Library: RMPC-100\100337
In 1983, Terry White deposed Edwards as Liberal leader and after disputes with Bjelke-Petersen, pulled the Liberals out of the coalition government. His leadership of the Liberals lasted 3 months, however he remained a popular back bencher when in 1989, he lost the seat of Redcliffe.
TerryWhite (front left) and a group visiting Parliament House. Photo: Moreton Bay Library: RMPC-100\100335
While raising a family, undertaking further studies in organisational development and business systems, Rhonda also pursued other career options before returning to rehabilitate the family business in the early 1980s.
When Terry rejoined the business in 1989 after his time in politics, Rhonda had introduced the systems that were to lay the platform for national growth, which she suggested to Terry was their next challenge – she as CEO and Terry as Chairman.
Upon his return to the business, Terry assumed the role of company Chairman and, with Rhonda as CEO, set out to build a national brand. To achieve this, it was necessary to transcend what was essentially a small business, individual pharmacy sector by creating a franchise business. Victories in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in Queensland enabled franchising to proceed nationally in 1994.
By 1998, Terry White Chemists had grown to 80 stores and was sold to F.H. Faulding, a major supplier. Large corporate ownership of the business over the next decade produced mixed results under successive owners, and in 2009 Terry White Chemists was reacquired by Terry, Rhonda and their partners.
It now has over 160 franchises in Australia, turns over in excess of $1 billion and employs 4500 people.
Terry’s entrepreneurship, risk taking and leadership, combined with Rhonda’s exceptional business skills, have transformed an original pharmacy on the Redcliffe peninsula into Australia’s leading pharmacy business.
Terry has also made a distinguished contribution to the advancement of the pharmacy profession through national leadership, including regulatory reform, as well as contributing significantly to the community.
Terry has also served as President of the Pharmacy Guild and the founding President of the Australian Institute of Pharmacy Management.
Dick 'Tosser' Turner, Bryan Niebling Terry White and Darryl Van de Velde.
Quite apart from her distinguished business achievements, Rhonda has a history of significant contributions to community and charitable organisations.
The book 'A Prescription for Change - The Terry White Story' by Tony Koch was
published in 2010 and is available to view at the following link:
Terry White and Rhonda White were inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame in 2011, for their significant contribution to the advancement of the pharmacy profession (Terry White Chemists) and to their community.
In 2012, Terry White was appointed Board Chairman of Metro South Hospital and Health Service (HHS), a government statutory body responsible for the management of five public hospitals, as well as a range of other healthcare facilities across the southside of Brisbane
Terry and Rhonda White are listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:
A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.
For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post: