View Full Version : Dick Smith, Australian, Electronics, Retail & Aviation Magnate

30-12-07, 08:43 AM
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and an Australian patriot well known for his electronic stores and introduction of new technologies into the Australian marketplace, Dick Smith was born on 18th March 1944 and grew up in Roseville NSW. Although not as publicised, Smith was also very famous for his aviation interests and well known for making his first helicopter trip singly around the globe in 1983 .

Smith's achievements are endless and amazing; receiving the Baden Powell Award during 1966 after serving 14 years in the scouts. Two years later he founded Dick Smith Electronics, running and growing it successfully for 14 years before selling it to Australian firm Woolworths in 1982. Smith was also recognized during this period for his Achievements within Australia and was honored with the Australian of the year award 1987, in this same momentous year he made his first helicopter flight to the North Pole, and to top this off, two years later he was the first individual to fly around the earth through the poles! Talk about a busy man!

Smith started his electronics business in a tiny rented space underneath a car park in Sydney, Australia. At that time, he had only $610 in start-up funds. During 1969, he was compelled to move to bigger premises to meet the demands of his thriving business. He then toured overseas electronic stores and studied contemporary merchandising methods not yet seen in Australia, this helped him grow his business even further introducing mail-order annual catalogues and self-serve shopping in his stores. Popular magazines such as Electronics Today International and Electronics Australia always carried his catalogues which can be availed by anyone free of cost.

In 1985, Smith moved into international markets by starting his first electronics store in the USA state of California, and then started to expand across America. Within a few years after making an established footprint in the US Market he sold this US operation. After this sale, Smith focussed his attention on the Australian market and introducing new technologies to the country. His company profited massively from the CB radio bang of the 1970ís and by the end of the decade Smith had stores in almost all mainland states of Australia.

After the successful sale of his Australian arm of his retail business, Smith founded Australian Geographic publication with the first issue in print during January 1986, Smiths goal with this publication was to publish informative and accurate quarterly journal about his country. He wanted to encourage his people to love nature, wildlife and the beautiful places within Australia. When he sold Australian Geographic to Fairfax during 1995, his company contributed about $7.4 million for adventure, scientific research and community deeds.

Smiths love of aviation never dwindled during his tycoonship, travelling in a non-stop hot air balloon expedition and crossing the Australian continent in 1993 and then. Smith was made the Chairman, Civil Aviation Safety Authority Board during 1990 and again in 1997. During 1998, Smith was honored with a number of other appointment such as the Ambassador of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and he was also madee Chairman of the National Centenary of Federation Council during 1996.

Still being heavily involved in the Aviation industry, Smith made a trans-tasman balloon trip from New Zealand to Australia in the year 2000, Dick Smith kept busy and is well known most recently as the patron of AusBuy, an Australian non-profit organization that was formed to create awareness about the selling of Australian brands and icons to foreign clients. It is said that he supported the asylum seeker Peter Qasim of Afghanistan publicly and was later released by the Australian Government during 2005.

Dick Smith has an ambitous, high acheiving dedicated personality, his life achievements show testament every Australian that they can achieve thier goals during their life and he is a great inspiration and patriot of Australia and entrepreneurs alike.

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/4/4b/250px-Dick_Smith_displaying_some_of_the_Dick_Smith_Foods _product_range.jpg

02-01-08, 07:46 AM
Fantastic Writeup! Thanks AussieTycoon

03-01-08, 11:33 AM

Some good info there well done

15-10-09, 10:25 AM
amazing i wasnt aware of any of his other achievements what an Australian i dont think he has got enough media coverage dont think hes even been on 60 minutes lol

30-11-09, 02:35 PM
Well, his life achievements show testament every Australian that they can achieve their goals during their life and he is a great inspiration and patriot of Australia and entrepreneurs alike.

15-07-10, 07:59 PM
Dick Smith has evolved through the changing business landscape and has emerged as a philanthropic True Australian.
Whilst I admire his achievements, I regret his decision to allow Woolworths to continue use his name and brand on the electronics stores Dick Smith...

Steven Hudson
27-08-10, 11:48 AM
One great Aussie I would love to sit down with for an hour and have a chat with....what a great man.

12-09-10, 09:13 PM
Good write up
the next time I'm feeling lazy I hope I remeber the write up
cheers Peter

Kellie Dobbie
15-09-10, 11:55 AM
A very inspiring article. It has given a positive outlook for a struggling entrepreneur like me.

22-09-10, 01:35 AM
It goes to show. It just takes the right attitude.

07-11-10, 03:30 PM
That's an inspirational story... There's good in everything good.. when there's waiting, there's always payback.

08-05-11, 09:59 PM
Some good info there well done

30-08-11, 04:56 PM
It's always inspiring to read about someone who achieves in a number of different areas. It's also great to see successful entrepreneurs giving something back to the community.