David Smorgon OAM
After leaving BGS David Smorgon studied law but only practised for five months before joining the family business, Smorgon Consolidated Industries (SCI), for a three-year apprenticeship in the meatworks. He worked on the gutting floor, in the slaughterhouse and finally the boning room. This was the tradition for all family members who went into the business. For 25 years David Smorgon was a senior executive at Smorgon Consolidated Industries which had by then become one of Australia’s largest family-owned companies worth A$1 billion and spanning meat, paper, glass, plastics and steel industries; over four generations of the Smorgon family. When the business was sold in 1995 in a staged divestment it ended a 70-year family history and marked one of the lowest points of David’s life. David and others were bitterly disappointed when their efforts to save the family business failed. Shortly afterwards, David who was a lifetime supporter of the Footscray Football Club (now the Western Bulldogs) was invited to head the taskforce that reviewed the Club. Newly fired up by the many challenges the Club was facing, David became President. Under his leadership, where business perspective and professionalism are paramount, the Club experienced great success on and off the field. David ended his 16-year reign as President in December 2012 making him the second-longest serving president in the AFL to date. In 1996 David and his three sons established Generation Investments focusing on business opportunities, equity and property investments. His most recent business venture is pointmade, where he assists senior executives to professionalise their pitch and speaking skills. Drawing on his own business acumen and astuteness, he enjoys imparting his own rules for success to inspire others. In 1997 David was named the inaugural Chairman of Family Business Australia, established to provide guidance to family businesses nationally. Eminently qualified with his insight into family businesses, he held this position for six years. In 2000, David was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the Western Bulldogs and for his contribution to the community through health, social welfare and education. In 2008, David accepted the role of Ambassador for Ochre – Supporting Indigenous Health Through Art to raise funds for research into indigenous child health at Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research.
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