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With a hunger for his own business, Jack Cowin, BA’64, LLD’00, transformed one Australian restaurant into a multinational food processor and service provider with exports to 29 countries and 24 wholly owned subsidiaries. He also has major holdings in Canada, the U.S. and Malaysia. And his entrepreneurial appetite started at Western.

Biography

Jack Cowin, BA’64, LLD’00 is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Competitive Foods Australia Ltd.

In 1969, at the age of 26, Mr. Cowin moved to Australia with his family to establish a business with the support of loans from 30 Canadians. He took the fast food industry by storm, beginning with Kentucky Fried Chicken, then his own burger chain named “Hungry Jack’s” and next with Dominos Pizza. The business expanded into food processing and now exports to 29 countries and employs 16,000 staff throughout Australia.

The group is also a major shareholder in three companies operating in Canada and the U.S. with a joint venture in Malaysia. In addition to operating 350 restaurants in Australia, the company operates five manufacturing facilities producing frozen value added meat products, as well as processing fresh vegetables.

Mr. Cowin is a director of the Network Ten television business; Chandler McLeod, a listed recruitment company; Sydney Olympic Park and Fairfax Media. He is also Chairman elect and the largest shareholder of Domino’s Pizza (Australia).

Mr. Cowin is the largest shareholder in BridgeClimb, a major tourist attraction in Sydney, Australia.

Through the years Mr. Cowin has remained extremely loyal to Western. As a student, he was a member of the Mustangs football and wrestling teams. He has served as both a donor and a mentor through the “Jack Cowin Award”. Students in receipt of this award demonstrate athletic and academic excellence. The award allows the student to conduct a three-month internship with Jack and his colleagues in Australia.  

He, with his wife Sharon (BA’64), have also generously created the Jack Cowin/Lone Star Coaching Excellence Fund designed to support Western’s efforts to retain and recruit top-level head or assistant coaches for its varsity teams.

They have also supported the establishment of the Jack and Sharon Cowin Scholars Award, a partnership between Bond University and Western that will encourage student mobility and academic exchange opportunities between the two universities.

Mr. Cowin has contributed his efforts to numerous leadership projects and has provided unparalleled support with multiple global initiatives, including acting as Chairman of Western’s International Advisory Board. In 2000, he was conferred with an honorary degree in 2000 from Western and in 2011, the Alumni Association recognized him with the Professional Achievement Award. On October 22, 2015 he was installed as Western’s 22nd Chancellor.

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