"It is important to remember that
business is part of the community,
not apart from the community and,
therefore, has a responsibility to
help communities become stronger."
Barrie Thomas and his business partner at the time, Graeme Wise, brought the franchise of the successful body care products company to Australia in 1983. Later they expanded the business to New Zealand and currently there are nearly 100 retail outlets of The Body Shop throughout the two countries.
Barrie disposed of his interests in the Australian franchise of the The Body Shop in 1999 and now lives in New Zealand with his family where he is the managing director of the NZ company.
Before he left Australia Barrie, a resident of Frankston, had actively supported community projects in many parts of Australia, including in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula. He had a particular interest in youth and family services, job training for long-term unemployed people, projects supporting indigenous people and he served as a committee member for a number of local community projects.
Despite living in New Zealand, Barrie still provides support to local projects. Since 1997 he has been a co-director and major financial supporter of Mornington Peninsula Community Connections, an independent service which provides free advice and support to grass-roots community groups.
The Body Shop's mission requires that the company balance its business interests with the needs of communities.