Updated: Mar 20
The colourful businessman, Vaughan Bullivant always loves a challenge. Discovering the sport of water skiing in the 1960's, he became a champion in the sport, aged 16.
"Any skiing that the big crowd at Monaco had previously seen paled into insignificance alongside the performance of New Zealand champion and international professional skier, Vaughan Bullivant, at the Monaco Boat Club's display day. He carried out the most complicated manoeuvres with an aplomb and competence born of extensive experience. His exhibitions were the highlight of an extremely entertaining display"
Skiing at the famous Cyprus Gardens in the US, he survived but was paralysed after a 90kph backwards barefoot skiing collision with a steel tower. This action changed his life.
He was knocked unconscious and spent several minutes under water before he was rescued. Due to lack of oxygen, it was thought that Vaughan would not survive or walk again. With a recovery that left doctors dumbfounded, Vaughan was teaching his paralysed legs to walk again in three weeks and was skiing again six weeks later. Vaughan strongly believed that his vitamin and antioxidant nutrient consumption helped with his recovery. He also felt that he had a second chance in life and began to explore his other passions.
Rescued financially by a Sydney based business friend from bankruptcy, in 1971 he opened his first health food store in Redcliffe. Called Peninsula Health Foods, Vaughan also bought a second shop in Kippa- Ring in 1973, Brisbane to prevent a competing company setting up shop across the street. In 1974 a third health food shop opened in Southport, Gold Coast. Bullivant soon changes the label to a bold, bright yellow and green and renames the range – Natures Own is born.
In 1980, Vaughan expands Natures own into NSW and comes up against new laws in relation to health food products and promotion, and opposition from major drug companies.
In 1982 Nature's Own launches into health food stores around Australia.
In 1985 a fire destroyed his Redcliffe vitamin factory however it was rebuilt and in 1987 Bullivant’s Natural Health Products expanded into Western Australia and in 1990 to Tasmania.
In 1993 Natures Own Queensland Headquarters moved to the Virginia, Brisbane premises where Nature's Own Head Office and manufacturing centre is still based today.
In 1997 he sold the vitamin business for $135 million to the Faulding drug company. Keith Williams, the then owner of Daydream Island resort, approached Bullivant to joining him as a partner in the resort. His association with Mr Williams dates back to the mid-1960s when Mr Bullivant worked in his Ski Garden water-skiing shows on the Nerang River, and later at the Gold Coast Spit. Eventually Vaughan brought Williams out of Williams share of the resort and owned it until it was sold in 2015.
Vaughan Bullivant married a local Redcliffe girl, Carmel Lindwall and they became famous for building and living in two substantial residences located side by side on Prince Edward Parade, Scarborough. They both promoted Redcliffe to the business community, with his wife forming and personally funding a promotional team of ambassadors in a bid to attract commerce. They separated in 1996.
Vaughan married Lydia Apao in 2007 and they reside in Redcliffe.
Vaughan Bullivant is 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: