||This biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2014)|
27 May 1933 |
Michael Jenkins Crouch AO is an Australian industrialist and founder of Zip Industries, a Sydney-based manufacturing company that designs, markets and sells Australian-designed and Australian-made instant boiling water systems and related appliances in more than 70 countries. Zip was the first company worldwide to develop small instant boiling water heaters.
Educated at Cranbrook School, Sydney he served as Executive Chairman of Zip for 52 years, is a prominent member of the Australian business community, and is well known for his interest in fostering the export of Australian-made products and Australian-bred beef.
In 1962 Michael Crouch acquired a small Australian company, Zip Heaters, which had been formed in 1947 to market kitchen and bathroom water heaters. Under his management, Zip expanded its product range to include hot water appliances of many kinds and in the 1970s introduced the world’s first small instant boiling water heaters now widely used in home, office and restaurant kitchens. From 1970 onwards, Zip also developed under-bench drinking water appliances dispensing both instant boiling water and chilled filtered drinking water. New models introduced recently also dispense sparkling chilled filtered water. From 1982 onwards, Michael Crouch appointed Zip distributors in Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand to cover South-East Asia. A distributor for Great Britain was engaged in 1987, and Zip products were introduced to Europe at trade shows in 1989 and 1991. A wholly owned subsidiary was formed in 1991 to handle UK distribution, and a distributor for Europe was appointed in 2002. A Zip subsidiary to handle distribution in New Zealand was established in 1996, and a joint venture partner in South Africa handles African marketing.
Memberships and committees
- 1974 (to 1981) Member, Finance Committee, Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Division.
- 1976 (to 1976) Treasurer, Finance Committee, Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Division.
- 1976 (to 1986). Director, NSW Society for Crippled Children (Northcott Society).
- 1980 (to 1996). President and Trustee, National Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
- 1984 (to 1986). Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association NSW.
- 1984 (to 1989). Director and NSW Chairman, Advance Australia Foundation.
- 1985 (to 1987). Member, National Committee for Development of Youth Employment.
- 1986 (to 1994) Member, Finance Committee, St John’s Ambulance, Australia.
- 1994 (to 2002). Member, Salvation Army Sydney Advisory Board, Rehabilitation and Services Command Advisory Board.
- 1996 (to 1999). Member, Australian Government Trade Policy Advisory Council.
- 1996 (to 2007). Member, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC).
- 1996 (to 2007). One of the three Australian representatives of Australian Prime Minister John Howard to the APEC Business Advisory Council.
- 1999 (to 2003). Director, Standards Australia International Ltd.
- 2001 (to 2012). Director, Advisory Committee & Advisory Council, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
- 2004 (to 2013) Founding Chair, Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (South Eastern Section).
- 2007 (to 2012). Director, National Board, the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.
- 2007 (to 2012). Director, Friends of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.
- 2010 (current) Director, Advisory Committee, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney University.
- 2012 (current) Director, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in Australia.
- 2013 (current) Chairman & Director, Diamond Jubilee Partnership Pty Ltd.
Honours and Awards
- 1988. Appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to conservation and the community.
- 1996. Appointed Officer of the Order of St John in recognition of his service to St John Ambulance Australia through its Finance Committee.
- 1996. Named Exporter of the Year by the Australian Electronic & Electrical Manufacturers Association.
- 2001. Awarded Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through international trade development.
- 2004. Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to the manufacturing sector, to the development of export markets in the Asia-Pacific region and to the community through a range of conservation and charitable organizations.
- 2007. Admitted to the degree of Doctor of Business in recognition of service to Australian industry and the community, Honoris Causa by the University of New South Wales.
- 2012. Presented with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Pin as a World Fellow of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony in Canberra.
- In his capacity as Executive Chairman of Zip Industries, Michael Crouch was Principal Sponsor for 2011, 2012 and 2013 of Sydney Festival, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest international arts festival involving, musical, dance and theatrical performances stated at many locations in and around Sydney each January, and jointly supported by the State Government of New South Wales and the City of Sydney.
- Since 2009, in his capacity as Executive Chairman of Zip Industries, Michael Crouch has been a Principal Sponsor of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia, which attracts participation on the part of more than 30,000 young Australians each year.
- Michael Crouch is a long-term supporter of Symphony of Australia Pty Ltd, an organisation devoted to the establishment of a treasury of Australian cultural history in music and song, in conjunction with musician, singer and composer Gavin Lockley.
- In 2013 Michael Crouch compiled and published a 100 page book “The First Musical History of Our Nation” about Gavin Lockley’s musical composition “Symphony of Australia” with written contributions by Marie Bashir (Governor of New South Wales), Roger Carrick (former UK High Commissioner to Australia), Geoffrey Blainey, (historian), Tim Fischer (author and former Deputy Prime Minister and Australian Ambassador to the Holy See), Hugh Mackay (social researcher and commentator) and Michael Jeffery (former Governor of Western Australia and Governor General of Australia). More than 2000 copies of the book and CDs of the Symphony have been donated to secondary school libraries across Australia.
- Since 2005, Michael Crouch has acted as co-sponsor of the annual National Biography Award of Australia, administered by the State Library of New South Wales. He and the Award founder, Dr Geoffrey Cains, are joint benefactors. Michael Crouch also sponsors an exhibition area within the Mitchell Wing of the State Library of NSW, known as ‘Amaze’. It displays an ever-changing array of iconic, beautiful and quirky items from the Library’s ‘amazing’ historical collections.
Michael Crouch and his family have been engaged in Angus cattle breeding since 1991. At the family cattle property, Waverley Station, 45 km north-east of Scone in New South Wales, the Crouch family runs some 700 performance-recorded breeders in addition to a commercial herd. Annual bull sales are held generally each August. Angus breeding and fattening is also conducted on other properties on King Island, located in Bass Strait between the coasts of Victoria and Tasmania.
Michael Crouch is married, has one son, two daughters and five grandchildren, and lives at Point Piper, in the suburb of Woollahra, Sydney, and at Waverley Station, an Angus cattle-breeding property located at Gundy (near Scone) in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales.