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Lindsay Fox

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Lindsay Fox
Born 19 April 1937 (1937-04-19) (age 78)
Sydney, New South Wales
Residence Melbourne, Victoria
Nationality Australia
Occupation Founder and Chairman -Linfox
Fox Group Holdings Pty Ltd
Net worth A$1.5 billion (US$1.0 billion)
(est. March 2009)[1][2]
Spouse(s) Paula Grace Peele (m. 1959)
Children Lisa, Peter, Katrina, Andrew, Michael (dec) and David

Lindsay Edward Fox AC (born 19 April 1937) is an Australian businessman. As of 2009, he was the 10th richest person in Australia, with a net worth of around A$1.5 billion[1] (US$1.5 billion[2]). He is best known as the founder and chairman of his family-owned trucking and logistics company, Linfox.[3]

Early life

Lindsay Fox was brought up in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne. He was educated at Melbourne High School, but was asked to leave during Year 10, at age 16, due to his lack of academic interest.[3] He started working as a truck driver and was able to use this as a springboard to found Linfox. He has since visited Melbourne High School on numerous formal occasions. An indicator of his tremendous work ethic and raw business savvy can be seen on a profile of Fox televised on the ABC.[4] He has been married for 50 years, with 6 children.[3]

Following the suicide of his son Michael in 1991, Fox advised the Federal and Victorian governments on youth suicide[3] and is on the board of the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention.[5] In 1992 he was named "Victorian Father of the Year".[3] In an interview with George Negus in August 2004, Fox spoke of the loss of his son: "Well, life is about being up and being down and being able to get up again. And in my walks of life, I guess I thought I was invincible till one of my sons committed suicide. And at that point of time, I knew I wasn't invincible ... I'd give up everything if we could get Michael back. He's got a special place in each and every one of the hearts of our family and he'll always be there and he'll never grow old."[4]

Political positions

When asked by George Negus how he describes himself politically, Fox replied: "I guess, Labor think I'm Liberal, Liberal think I'm Labor, the Catholics think I'm Protestant, the Protestants think I'm Catholic. The local rabbi delivers me matse. So I guess, bottom line, I'm an Australian".[4]

Fox went on to say: "I, traditionally, probably, was brought up in a working-class family where the old man would turn in his grave if he'd thought I'd have voted Liberal. But I must admit, from probably 25 up to the last election, I would have voted Liberal and supported Liberal quite strongly. But I was completely disillusioned by the lack of statesmanship with our Prime Minister with the Ansett debacle. He had an opportunity to be a statesman. Instead he took on a political role and as a result of that, the demise of Ansett came about".[4]

Football career

For many of his earlier years Lindsay Fox played Australian rules football with moderate success, and he continues his involvement with the sport.

Recruited from the St Kilda Football Club's thirds side (which he captained), Fox was sent to Golden Point Football Club in the Ballarat Football League before he returned to make his Victorian Football League debut in 1960. Fox did not think much of his footballing abilities, but as a ruckman he went on to play 20 games (for 3 goals) between 1959 and 1961.[3] Following his stint in the VFL, he went to the VFA, playing firstly for Moorabbin, where he won a premiership, and then for Brighton-Caulfield, where he moved after Moorabbin's expulsion from the Association.[6]

He later returned in an administrative role, becoming the president of the Saints in 1979.

Business interests

Fox started his Linfox company in 1956 with one truck.[7]

He also took ownership of Melbourne's Luna Park in late 2005. In 2006, he made an unsuccessful bid for the development of the neighboring 'Triangle Site' on St Kilda's foreshore. The property was subsequently destroyed by fire.[8][9][10]

He has been involved with a number of high-profile disputes with the Government relating to his property development activities. In the late 1990s he attempted to claim the public beach area in front of his holiday home as a private helipad for his helicopter and to build a high security compound for himself and his family. This development was rejected by the Victorian Planning Minister.[11] However he has also been able to use his government contacts to gain favorable treatment by being granted permission to land his helicopter near his Portsea home on crown land.[12]

Fox has been in dispute with the local council of his Toorak mansion by attempting to have the heritage listing that applies to all homes in the street removed from his property.[13] His son's Toorak home was destroyed by fire.[14]

Awards and recognition

  • Fox was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours of 1992, in recognition of service to the transport industry and to the community.[15]
  • In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal.[16]
  • In the Australia Day Honours of 2008, he was advanced to Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), in recognition of his continued service to the transport and logistics industries, to business through the development and promotion of youth traineeships, and to the community through a range of philanthropic endeavours.[17]