Mr Frank Lowy AC named in Queen's Birthday honours list
The Chairman of Westfield Corporation, Mr Frank Lowy AC, said today he was deeply honoured to be appointed a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Birthday Honours List announced today.
Mr Lowy’s citation for the award reads:“Frank Lowy is recommended for his contribution to the UK economy through the company he founded, Westfield, and its major investments in the UK. The group has opened Europe’s two largest urban shopping centres, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City and has recently submitted a planning application for a new one billion pound plus retail development in Croydon which will create thousands more jobs. He has also been involved in a number of philanthropic activities in the UK including with the Cabinet Office War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.”
Mr Lowy said he felt humbled by the appointment and believed the recognition should be shared with the thousands of Westfield staff who helped contribute to the company’s success in the United Kingdom.
“No individual alone can achieve the things we have in London,” he said.
“Our first centre in London was opened on the eve of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 yet has thrived ever since.
“Our second centre at Stratford City played a key role in the development of the site for the 2012 London Olympics and has been a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the whole of east London and now serves as a major community and job creation centre.
“We look forward to advancing our planning application for a new centre at Croydon and to further investment and job creation in the future.”
Mr Lowy said he had a deep and abiding respect and affection for the United Kingdom.
“I had been trying to establish a business in the UK since the mid-1970s but for various reasons it wasn’t until 2000 that we finally made it.
“That breakthrough was enormously satisfying, and I’m proud that we have been able to make such a powerful economic contribution, as well as support a number of very worthy philanthropic projects.”
Mr Lowy said the genesis of his regard for the UK was listening to the BBC World Service as a young boy in war-torn Eastern Europe.
He recalls that as a child he would huddle around a radio in a bunker, listening to the chimes of Big Ben in London introduce the latest war news.
“It always gave us hope that help was on the way, and that the war would end in our favour,” he said.
“From that time on I associated the British people with freedom and humanity and the sound of those chimes brings back those memories to this very day,” he said.
“On behalf of my colleagues at Westfield and my family, I want to place on record my appreciation for this honour and re-commit myself and our company to making a contribution to the economy and people of the UK.”
Frank Lowy Biography
Mr Frank Lowy was born in what is now Slovakia in 1930 and survived World War II living with his mother in Budapest and evading capture by the Nazis. His father and many other family members died in concentration camps.
In 1946 he made his way to France where he boarded a refugee ship bound for Palestine. He was detained on arrival by British authorities and interned in a detention camp in Cyprus. He later made his way to Palestine, joined the Golani Brigade and fought in the 1948 War of Independence which led to the establishment of the State of Israel.
In 1952 Lowy left Israel for Australia and started a business delivering small goods. In 1953, he met fellow immigrant John Saunders. In 1960 they created Westfield Development Corporation and developed shopping centres throughout Australia before expanding to the United States in the 1970s, New Zealand in the mid-1990s and the United Kingdom in 2000.
Lowy remains Chairman of Westfield Corporation, now one of the world’s leading retail property companies. It owns and operates a portfolio of 35 shopping centres in the United Kingdom and United States valued at US$31billion. In 2014 the global Westfield Group was reorganised to separate its Australian and New Zealand operations from its US and UK business. Westfield shopping centres in Australia and NZ today are owned and operated by new entity, Scentre Group.
In 2000 Lowy was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour being made a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for services to business and philanthropy.
He has served in several corporate, community and philanthropic roles in Australia and internationally, including as Chairman of Football Federation Australia (2003-2015); as founder and Chairman of the Lowy Institute for International Policy; Chairman of the Institute for National Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv; and, founder and Chairman of the Lowy Medical Research Institute.
He served two five-year terms as a member of the board of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia. He also served for 10 years as a Director of UK media group, Daily Mail and General Trust plc (UK) until 2007.
In 1999 the University of New South Wales conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his contribution to business and the community.
Mr Lowy is married to Shirley and lives in Sydney. They have three sons – David, Peter and Steven.