The Fred Walker laboratory circa 1923. Credit: Kraft Food Australia.

Book a tour of the Cyril Callister Museum – Servo @23 Open 10am–2pm Tuesday to Sunday

The true story of the man who invented vegemite

About the Foundation

The Cyril Callister Foundation was established in 2019 to celebrate the life, work and scientific legacy of Australian chemist and food scientist Cyril Callister, the man who invented Vegemite. When the salty black paste first rolled off the production line in 1923, Australians hated it. Today, it can be found in eight out of 10 Australian pantries and fridges. Vegemite’s rise from zero to national icon spanned two world wars, a depression and a polio epidemic. It is a lesson in what can be achieved with perseverance, resilience and integrity.

 

Our Mission

The Cyril Callister Foundation wants to tell the inspirational and largely unknown story of one of Australia’s greatest scientists. Everyone knows the iconic product, Vegemite, but not its inventor, Cyril Callister. The foundation runs the Cyril Callister Museum in the historic town of Beaufort, north west of Melbourne, near where Cyril Callister and siblings were raised.

The museum displays photos and memorabilia and runs talks, tours, events and a shop which celebrates all things Vegemite. Jamie Callister, the grandson of Cyril Callister, can be booked for speaking engagements, school visits and events.

The Cyril Callister Foundation wants to encourage young Australians to study and engage with science and history. A portion of all proceeds raised are ploughed back into scholarships so youth from regional Australia can follow in the footsteps of Cyril Callister and study at university. 

The Cyril Callister Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.

Brothers Reg and Cyril Callister (right) in London. Credit: The Callister Family.

Cyril Callister

Cyril Callister was born on 16 February 1893, in Chute, Victoria. He was the second son of nine children born to William Callister, a school teacher and postmaster, and William’s wife Rosetta.

Cyril attended Ballarat School of Mines, now Federation University, Ballarat. He won a scholarship to attend the University of Melbourne, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1914, a Master of Science degree in 1917 and a Doctorate of Science in 1931.

Cyril Callister Museum

Find the Cyril Callister Museum at servo@23, an old petrol station which has been repurposed as a community arts, events and creative co-working space.

Address: 23 Neill Street, Beaufort.

Opening hours: 10am–2pm, Tuesday–Sunday.

Please follow our socials for updates.

Cyril Callister Museum

Find the Cyril Callister Museum at servo@23, an old petrol station which has been repurposed as a community arts, events and creative co-working space.

Address: 23 Neill Street, Beaufort.

Opening hours: 10am–2pm, Thursday–Sunday.

Please follow our socials for updates.

Jamie Callister

Jamie Callister is the grandson of Cyril Callister, the man who invented Vegemite. Jamie is available to speak at your school, community, corporate or fundraising events.

Stay in the Loop

Join our mailing list and keep up to date with the latest from the Cyril Callister Foundation and Cyril Callister Museum.

Stay in the Loop

Join our mailing list and keep up to date with the latest from the Cyril Callister Foundation and Cyril Callister Museum.

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