Director & Innovator

In 2012 Native Extracts evolved the botanical extract industry through its innovation in Cellular Extraction, delivering unprecedented “true to nature” water-soluble phyto-compound profiles. Lisa has been instrumental in repositioning plant extracts at the forefront of formulation design, proving to outperform past inferior extraction methods by delivering a new palette of natural tools that offer traceability, transparency and natural phyto-compounds to brands dedicated to creating powered-by-nature solutions. Lisa is passionate about the ethical and sustainable growth of Australia's native plant primary industry. She has been a key influencer and catalyst behind the A(ustralian) Beauty trend, working closely with primary producers to identify new species for clean and effective ingredients.

As a consultant to domestic companies and large multinationals in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food & beverage industries; Lisa delivers innovative natural solutions, creates new trends, and develops new ingredients with competitive advantage and unique marketability. She lectures at universities and industry conferences on the commercialisation of native species and delivers technical papers on the ever-growing database of extract-related research.

Lisa has positioned Native Extracts as the bridge between science and nature. She is committed to working with brands and contract manufacturers to build products that target performance objectives and are a true reflection of the brand.





Senior Biotechnologist & Nutrition Specialist

Dr Evan Stephens PhD, B.Biotech, B.Sc(Hons) leads the research team at NATIVE EXTRACTS, driving advances in our Nutraceutical Division. Dr Stephens brings over 25 years’ experience in sustainable agriculture, plant and nutrition science, 15 years in biotechnology research and technology commercialisation – with over 20 scientific publications, over 4,000 citations of his scientific work, and 4 fellowships (including senior research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture & Food Sciences). Evan shares NE’s passion for discovery and scientific rigour to deliver nutrients from plants to improve human health and wellbeing.

Dr Stephens is currently leading the team on numerous exciting new projects targeting Beauty, Wellness and Therapeutic applications: species - specific commercialisation projects, developing scientific papers for publication and peer review, and presenting industry seminars, such as our breakthrough in harnessing natural Vitamin C (biological ascorbic acid).



Head of Extraction and Operations 

Cianán delivers an intensive 10 years of perfecting and further innovating the Cellular Extraction Process and new R&D protocols. He is responsible for coordinating new product development and new technology design, with the recent innovation in new tooling for a proprietary oil extraction technology.

Cianán is tough on process and performance and ensures all processes and performance across the lab and factory are run most effectively. He has taken the Cellular Extraction technology from its early beginnings and continues to push the envelope on innovation and new possibilities, focused on delivering the best a species can offer. Cianán is responsible for tripling our extraction capacity and for expanding our extracts into the nutraceutical, supplement and food and beverage space. He operates across multiple extraction techniques, oversees the production facility and multiple labs in compliance with our ISO9001:2015 and Organic certification.

In addition, Cianán managed the custom construction of our new purpose-built lab and factory. Between managing the timely turnaround of orders and maintaining a tight production schedule, Cianán is always forward-focused on how to best harness nature's brilliance, across multiple delivery systems for our customers.


Technical Laboratory Officer + Food Safety Supervisor

With a lifetime of experience in the field and passion for Australia's native plants, Gareth brings a horticultural and botany studies background to the lab. He has worked an extensive 8 years on multiple extraction protocols from Southern Cross University Plant Science Analytical Research Laboratory, taking our lab to new frontiers. Gareth has helped to expand our factory, with multiple extraction techniques and improving efficiency. He also has experience in essential oil distillation on both small and large scale production. 

Gareth balances his time in the lab with experience foraging for native plants and bush foods, which is backed by 7 years in horticulture, and a TAFE Certificate. Growing up in Alice Springs, he lived on an Indigenous community and foraged native plants from his desert backyard daily, his favourite being the “Bush Coconut”.



Dr. Joseph Nastasi

Technical Laboratory Lead Research Scientist – Biomaterials and Phytochemistry 

Affiliations: School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 

Joseph is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He has worked as a Food Chemistry lecturer for the University of Queensland and continues to work privately across the Australian Native food industry. He completed his undergraduate studies with Honours Class 1 in Food Science and Technology at the University of Queensland in 2019 and his PhD in Food chemistry, metabolomics, and sustainable material science at the University of Queensland in 2024. 
His current research focuses on the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry platforms for the profiling of secondary metabolites in foods and plants. In addition, he also has research interests in the development of biopolymer materials containing natural plant additives for food, cosmetic, and medical applications. Joseph works extensively with indigenous communities across Queensland to identify new and emerging native plants with commercial potential as well as industry bodies/collectives specialising in the cultivation and commercial sale of native plants and foods. 

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Vanessa Minnik Head of Regulatory & Compliance Native Extracts


Head of Regulatory + Compliance

Primarily, Vanessa is responsible for the constant evolution of NATIVE's Quality Management System and ensuring that all of the companies' staff, processes, systems and technical documentation are compliant. With certifications in Business and Compliance Training from NICNAS and dual certificates in Business and Business Management from Australian College of Commerce and Management, she is the one to thank for NATIVE's notoriously thorough documentation and administration. Vanessa has created NATIVE's Pharmacopoeia: the database of species, their phyto-compound profiles, applications and product considerations. 

Applying her Certificate in Graphic Design from the Commercial Art Training Centre in Brisbane, Vanessa also authors and designs all documentation from Safety Data Sheets and Certificates of Analysis, to application brochures, datasheets and information packs. She manages most of our sourcing, working closely with producers to supply the highest quality ingredients for our extracts. Beyond quality assurance, Vanessa is responsible for creating a new level of expectation within the extract industry. She often consults with brands and contract manufacturers as they endeavour to receive certifications, like she has done for Native, including ISO9001:2015 accreditation, Organic Certification, Food and Beverage Compliance and more.




Want to explore how you can build compelling stories, collaborations and engagement with transparency? Let our Marketing team show you new possibilities to build exciting and unique media assets, grower collaborations and Lab visits to communicate to your audience. Looking to build compelling transparency and traceability back stories, from images to site visits, from plant to ingredient stories and grower engagement projects? World class natural ingredients that go beyond the product - Our team would love to hear from you - marketing@nativeextracts.com

NATIVE EXTRACTS is a different ingredient manufacturer that works closely with Contract Manufacturers and Brands bridging their innovative ingredients and their brand objectives and vision. Ethical brands looking for responsible ingredients that follow eco-conscious manufacturing practices with a mission to build solutions that support positive impacts on people and the planet work with NATIVE EXTRACTS to drive exciting change. 

PRESS CONTACTS: press@nativeextracts.com




Dominic and NATIVE EXTRACTS have built a strong collaboration over the past 4 years, and we are honoured to have him join our team to support us with cultural guidance and assistance in building programmes and partnerships with greater cultural sensitivity and consideration as we build on our mission to increase First Nation inclusion in our supply chain, and support Indigenous entrepreneurs targeting multiple industry sectors.  

From Yuin nation, the Black Duck People from NSW, Dominic was raised gardening and close to the land, where he learnt about bush medicines and plants. Built from his love of working outside and desire to produce, market and distribute the highest quality Australian native food, he started Pundi Produce in 2014 in South Australia’s Riverland Region, which is one of NATIVE EXTRACTS’ project partners and raw botanical suppliers. Passionate about conservation and land management, Dominic grows most of his produce using aquaponics. Crops using this method are much less taxing on the environment, using less water, land and labour than traditional agriculture. He implements regenerative and eco-conscious agricultural practices and engages other First Nation businesses, promoting greater representation in the supply chain to positively impact their communities and socio-economic outcomes.

Growing native food has become a vehicle to pursue his passion of providing opportunities for young indigenous people in his community. His partnership with NATIVE EXTRACTS extends beyond the premium quality plants he provides. He works in collaboration and with guidance to ourselves and the mentees in the Indigenous Women Skincare Accelerator Mentorship Program we are facilitating, where he is on country, leading the program in the Riverlands region in South Australia, working directly with the mentees to guide them on their entrepreneurial journey to become First Nations Skincare Brands (link to blog). Dominic is developing a pipeline of commercial opportunities across industry sectors with the vision to create more opportunities for inspiring young Indigenous women to create their own businesses including farming. Driven to help his people, Dominic is also in his final stages of a Nursing Degree and is engaged as an Indigenous Cultural Liaison Officer in the Riverlands region.





Financial Officer

Melissa joins us as our Financial Officer to help manage the growth locally as well as our expanding global distribution network, and new joint ventures. Her strong accounting, analytical skills, business planning, and structure knowledge of companies/trusts/partnerships will be a huge asset for our future plans. We love her calm "zen" focus she brings to the team ..... and that she is a medal winning second Degree Black belt in Marital arts too!





 Tilly O'Connell is a highly skilled professional specializing in holistic health, customer service, and administration. With an extensive background in facilitating seamless customer experiences, orders, technical documentation, and samples.

She has a deep commitment to promoting well-being through the power of plants.

Tilly’s important role as Head of Customer Service co-ordinates a wide range of resources and access to the NATIVE EXTRACTS team to meet the needs of our customers, support their NPD objectives, and custom projects.  

Tilly's journey began with a passion for holistic health, and extended to her role as customer service & administration with Holistic Health & Wellness. Her expertise from this experience has been a cornerstone of her approach to her role her at NATIVE EXTRACTS enabling her to offer empathetic, knowledgeable support that goes beyond conventional service paradigms. 

In her administrative and customer service roles, Tilly has consistently demonstrated exceptional organizational skills, meticulous attention to detail, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Her ability to navigate complex customer inquiries and provide tailored solutions has set her apart as a leader in customer engagement. 

At NATIVE EXTRACTS, Tilly is now harnessing her growing skills and experiences to oversee the customer service function. Her leadership is characterized by a proactive approach to problem-solving, a strong ethic of team collaboration, and a vision to elevate the customer experience. 

Tilly's forward-thinking strategies and her commitment to excellence make her an invaluable asset to NATIVE EXTRACTS. Under her guidance, the customer service function is poised to continue to deliver exceptional customer experiences, offering unparalleled support that reflects the company's dedication to quality, innovation, and eco-responsible ingredient choices.  

For all your customer service enquiries, please reach out to our team via enquiries@nativeextracts.com


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