Michael Crouch AC, the founder of Zip Industries and its CEO from 1962 to 2013, passed away in Sydney on 9 February after a short illness. His legacy includes an impressive list of ongoing enterprises that have enjoyed his generous patronage.
February 15th, 2018
Michael Crouch, pictured here with his wife, Shanny, was an ardent Australian patriot with a passionate belief in Australia’s ability to export Australian designed and Australian manufactured products to many world markets.
He acquired a small Sydney factory making domestic hot water systems in 1962 and transformed it into the world leader in instant boiling water appliances now used daily by millions of people in the UK and in more than sixty other countries.
The star Zip product remains the Zip HydroTap, a wholly Australian designed kitchen appliance giving filtered boiling, chilled or sparkling water instantly.
Michael’s honorary government appointments include: Member, Australian Government Trade Policy Advisory Council from 1996 to 1999; Member, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC) from 1996 to 2007; and as one of three representatives of the Prime Minister to the APEC Business Advisory Council from 1996 to 2007, all of which involved extensive Pacific Rim travel.
From 2004 to 2013 Michael Crouch served as Founding Chairman, Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (South Eastern Section) and notably sponsored popular musical events related to raising funds for new aircraft.
From 2007 onwards, Michael became an enthusiastic contributor to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia, which now involves more than 40,000 young Australians each year. He acted as Board Director for four years and later as Deputy Chair of The Friends of the Award. In 2012 he received the Duke of Edinburgh’s Pin as a World Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In 2007 Michael received a University of New South Wales Honorary Doctorate of Business in recognition of his extensive, sustained contribution to business and the broader community. He served as a Director, Advisory Committee & Advisory Council at the Australian School of Business, UNSW from 2011 to 2012.
At UNSW he also commissioned Australia’s first Chair of Innovation in its School of Business and in 2015 he provided finance for the UNSW to open the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, a facility for innovators “seeking a better way”.
From 2013 to 2017, Michael Crouch also served as Chairman, National Boer War Memorial Association Fund Committee, responsible for raising four million dollars for the first National Boer War Memorial, now installed on Anzac Parade, Canberra. The Memorial’s dedication on 31 May 2017 was attended by over 1,400 Boer War Descendants and supporters, and was live-streamed nationally.
In October 2018 the State Library of New South Wales is due to open major new exhibition galleries within its Mitchell Library building, to be known as The Michael Crouch Family Galleries, reflecting major support for the project on the part of Michael and his immediate family. The new galleries will allow the Library to place on show many of the historical treasures it now has in storage.
Earlier State Library projects sponsored by Michael Crouch include its National Biography Awards and an “Amaze” room showing relics from early Sydney.
In recognition of his various contributions to Australian business and the Australian community, Michael was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1988, an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2004, and a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017.
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