Australian Biography: Victor Smorgon


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1999, 26 Minutes

One of Australia’s most successful industrial entrepreneurs, Victor Smorgon tells how he came from starvation and poverty in Russia and built a small family business into one of the biggest and most successful industrial corporations in Australia.

Born in Russia in 1913, Smorgon saw the dramatic end of the tsarist regime and the dawn of communism. His childhood life was one of poverty, starvation and anti-Semitic attacks against his family.

In his early teens his family migrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne. Victor’s father and uncles established a kosher butcher shop in Carlton and this became the humble foundation of the giant enterprise that Victor’s entrepreneurial genius subsequently created. The story of the expansion of the business into meat exporting, plastics, glass and steel is a fascinating one and in this interview Victor tells it with characteristic verve and energy.

He reveals the secrets of his great success in business as he recounts his extraordinary life. He explains why he became almost as well known for his philanthropy in medicine and the arts, as he was for his business acumen. His humour, optimism, creativity and great capacity to seize what opportunities life presents are on full display.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.


Producer/Director: Robin Hughes

Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Year: 1999

Running Time: 26 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Modern History, Studies in Society and Environment, Business Studies, Personal Development, Legal Studies and Career Education.


Australian Biography: Franco Belgiorno-Nettis

SKU 199710801
Brand Film Australia

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