The Australian Dream Story
Australian Dream was founded in 1996 by brothers Michael and Phillip Maddox, but their story goes back much further. As the sons of a physician, their mission to help others is rooted at their foundation, literally—their father’s clinic, serving some of the poorest people in the country, occupied the first floor of their childhood home. It’s upon that foundation that Michael and Phillip built Australian Dream.
Michael and Phillip’s father, Dr. Paul Maddox, was no stranger to an uphill climb. Growing up in the mountains of rural Kentucky during the Great Depression, Dr. Maddox faced poverty, instability, and unfathomable tragedy—he was orphaned at just age six. But rather than let tragedy hold him back, it served as a calling to move him forward. As Allen Booth and Cecille Booth write in Moving Mountains in Appalachia: The Dr. Paul and Patricia Maddox Story:
“He made a choice to be a mountain mover instead of the person walking around the mountains.”
After graduating from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, he and his wife, Pat, established a medical practice in Campton, a rural tobacco-farming town in the hills of eastern Kentucky. In the 1950s, Campton was in the second poorest county in the nation. Only 11% of the dwellings had running water. Only 1.5% had indoor plumbing, and 43% didn’t have electricity. When Pat’s family first came to visit and saw the abysmal conditions, they insisted that she return with them to Indiana. She refused, steadfast in her commitment to her and her husband’s mission to improve the lives of those around them.
Dr. Maddox could have practiced medicine in a bigger city, and enjoyed the bigger salary that would have come with it. But he and Pat put the needs of others before their own, working for more than a half-century to make Campton a better place for all. The Maddox Clinic was open virtually 24/7, with one rule guiding his practice: treat everyone, regardless of the time of day or their ability to pay. He became known nationally as the Busiest Doctor in the Country, seeing over 100 patients every day and delivering over 6,000 babies. In 1999, Dr. Maddox was awarded the prestigious Country Doctor of the Year award.
The Maddox’s legacy continues to this day through their sons, Michael and Phillip. Their childhood home—the home that housed their father’s clinic—served as the first headquarters of Australian Dream, and they sold their first products at independent, family-owned drug stores within driving distance of Campton. Today, Michael and Phillip remain deeply committed to Campton, even as Australian Dream products help people around the world find relief from pain. And while much has changed over all these years, there is one thing that hasn’t: their pledge to put the needs of others first.