David Smorgon OAM
Corporate success, community leader, AFL President
David Smorgon, a lawyer by profession, is a well-known, successful and respected businessman who has a reputation as a force in the business and sporting worlds.
For 25 years David Smorgon was a senior executive at Smorgon Consolidated Industries, the $1 billion family business that spanned meat, paper, glass, plastics and steel industries. When the business was sold off in 1995 in a staged divestment it ended a 70-year family history and marked one of the lowest points of David’s life. He and others were bitterly disappointed when their efforts to save the family business failed.
Shortly afterwards, David – 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 has experienced great success on and off the field. David will end his 16-year reign as president in December 2012. He will be the second-longest serving president in the AFL.
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 Smorgon 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’, an auction of spectacular Indigenous art to raise funds for research into Indigenous child health at Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research.
David Smorgon is a fascinating presenter who knows the requirements for success and generously imparts his wisdom born of experience. Refreshingly honest, there is arguably no one better equipped to talk about business, success, adversity, teamwork and resilience.