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The Inspirational Story behind Vegemite, an Australian Icon

This is not just my story, as Australians, it's our story.


Jamie Callister, hailing from Australian royalty – well almost - proudly carries the legacy of his grandfather, Cyril Callister, the man who invented Vegemite. With Vegemite running through his veins, Jamie has made it his mission to share his grandfather's remarkable story which is more than just a captivating narrative; it's a recipe providing the key ingredients into probably Australia’s greatest success story which can be applied equally to the boardroom, the workplace, sporting teams and life.

Jamie released his book, "Vegemite: The True Story of The Man Who Invented an Australian Icon" (Murdoch Books 2023), coinciding with the centennial celebrations of Vegemite. Available in both print and audible formats – narrated by Jamie - Jamie's book dives deep into the heart of Vegemite's journey, from its humble beginnings to its status as a national treasure. Vegemite was not an overnight success story in fact when it first rolled off the production line it was a spectacular failure, a complete dud! Jamie is a passionate speaker who offers insights to an audience seeking to glean wisdom from an invention that unfolded a century ago, how it became a cultural icon and lessons which are still as relevant today in navigating our own professional challenges.

As President of the Cyril Callister Foundation in Beaufort, Central Victoria where Cyril Callister was born, he oversees a unique museum dedicated to celebrating all things Vegemite. Through the Happy Little Vegemites in Schools program, Jamie takes his grandfather's story directly to school students encouraging a new generation of innovators and inspiring them to dream big, embrace failure and persevere. The Foundation also offers scholarships to disadvantaged youth in regional areas to pursue tertiary studies in science. Jamie is currently completing his second book.

Talking Points

Vegemite: The Recipe for Success

Vegemite's journey from failure to icon teaches us about perseverance, self-belief, and maintaining a positive culture in the face of challenges, crucial ingredients for success in any venture.

The Four Pillars

The Vegemite story told through four pillars: Dare to Dream; Walk your path; Believe in yourself; Find your team; are key ingredients for success which can be equally applied in the boardroom, the workplace, sporting teams and in life.

The Spirit of Australia

Vegemite isn't just a spread; it's a symbol of Australian ingenuity, resilience, and spirit embodying the essence of Australian culture and history. Cyril Callister's story, shared by his grandson Jamie, highlights the power of determination and innovation in creating a national icon.
Jamie is a brilliant presenter with a unique approach to story-telling that can captivate wide-ranging audiences. His subject matter expertise comes to the fore as he brings topics to life in an approachable, humorous way that engages deeply. Whether it be for the boardroom, a total business, students or fundraising events, Jamie’s versatility as a presenter makes him a fantastic choice. We had the privilege of Jamie sharing the story about Cyril Callister with our entire business and his presentation was a huge success – I’d strongly recommend him for your event! Bega Foods
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