Natural medicine academic and activist Professor Stephen Myers dies

Vale Stephen Myers.

Susanna Freymark

Long time Evans Head resident Stephen Myers died on June 27 after a six-week battle with lung cancer, strokes and covid. He was 68 years old.

Stephen Patrick Myers was born on April 9, 1956.

He was a leading figure in the world of alternative medicine and healing, commuting to Southern Cross University in Lismore where he was an Emeritus Professor. 

Stephen was one of Australia’s leading academics in natural, complementary and integrative medicine and trained scores of students in research and service.

Southern Cross University said Stephen raised more than $8million in research funding, supervised 18 higher degree research students to completion, wrote three books, 13 book chapters, and 145 peer-reviewed research papers.

Stephen with George at the rock wall.

He was a consultant to industry, government and academia across a broad range of issues.

He had a delightful sense of humour, was a very down to earth person, the university said.

Torrens University in South Australia also paid tribute to Stephen and included an interview with him in the tribute.

“My interest in natural medicine began in the 1970s when I moved to Darwin to work for the environment movement, armed with some natural medicines recommended by a friend and a biochemistry textbook. After successfully addressing one of my own health issues using natural medicines, and helping some colleagues, I earned a bit of a reputation as a barefoot healer, and at one stage I was doing 30 ‘footpath’ consultations a week. It was about that time I decided that I wanted to study natural medicine seriously,” Stephen said.

Stephen Myers.

Stephen was a core designer on the very first university-based degree in naturopathy, which was offered at Southern Cross University from 1995-2013, and graduated 500 baccalaureates. 

Less well-known is that he was also one of Australia’s early ecology activists helping to establish Friends of the Earth NSW and running successful campaigns against uranium mining and wood-chipping in the mid-seventies.

This photo was taken at the Friends of the Earth office in MacArthur Place, Carlton, Victoria. Circa 1974. Stephen is pictured third from the left.

Steve was instrumental in the early days of Friends of the Earth, including at 59 MacArthur Place in Melbourne, tracking the Ranger Uranium Inquiry, the anti-woodchip native forests campaign in NSW, the first national meeting at French Island in 1974, and setting up Friends of the Earth in NSW.

Stephen Myers is survived by his partner Lily Cubrilo and his gorgeous dog George and a global–local network of family, friends, and colleagues.

Stephen with his partner Lily Cubrilo. Photos: Contributed

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