Owner, Visionary, Managing Director
Maureen has a very chequered background. Born in Durban South Africa and migrating to Australia as a teenager.
She remembers living in the small town of Kranskop on the Zululand border, where she played innocently and happily with children of a range of colours, creeds and religions. With the death of her grandfather, the family moved to the Orange Free State, and the family farm. Here she was faced with racism and bigotry for the first time. Each time the family moved around the country, she saw and understood more of why her father wanted to leave.
On arrival in the new "land of the free" Australia, she saw more of the same, but directed in very strange ways. Her education at Parramatta High School, then Sydney University brought her into contact with educators and friends who believed in a racially tolerant country. Far from having an unearned privileged upbringing, Maureen like so many immigrant children, had scholarships and holiday jobs. She believes this helped develop her philosophy of life.
She graduated from Sydney University as a pharmacist, then went to Europe in 1969 as a newly wed, with her husband who was representing Australia in the 5.5Metre Yachting Championships in Scandinavia. She laughs now at how they were the poorest of the competitors, and ended up taking out the Scandinavian Gold Cup, the most prestigious Cup of its type.
On return to Australia the Nathans had a small son Adam and set up the International Cheese Shop at Crows Nest.
Maureen by then had hardened her attitude to life which is: 1. Simply because you are born you have a right to your life. 2. In order to stay alive you need to work, whether it is for keep, or kind, or money, unless you are lucky to find someone to support you. 3. With that in mind; no person or group of people may initiate the use of force, fraud or coercion against any other person or group of people. 4.Do unto others as you would have them do to you. 5.Respect yourself and treat respectfully those who deserve your respect. 6. Always give recognition (and praise) where it is due.
She was one of the pioneers of the Workers Party, which became known as the Progress Party, the platforms of which are based on exactly the same philosophy and principles of life.
In both her pharmacies, first in Lockhart in the Riverina area of SW NSW then in Batehaven, Batemans Bay, her professional and business ethics were based on the same principles. To Maureen, pharmacies should not just be involved with sickness, but with optimal health, where lifestyle, diet, attitude, fitness, work environment nutritional supplements and medicines all play a part. She was elected onto the API Health Care Board, which created the Pharmacist Advice system of pharmacy. Because Batemans Bay is a tourist town, she regarded her pharmacy at Batehaven as being part of tourism services.
She bought Old Mogo Town because she saw that the area needed a stay another day facility, particularly during wet or inclement weather. The facility had been closed for several years, after its short trading life. Many of Maureen's customers, and her friends in The Bay Theatre Players were not in the full time work force, and she believed it would give her supporters in the Old Mogo Town Project a reason to get up in the morning.
A quick look at the philosophy and work environment of what is now known as The Original Gold Rush Colony will show that Maureen practises what she preaches.