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Sir Ian Munro McLennan
Australia Crest

Businessman, born November 30th, 1909 at Stawell, Victoria.

He was raised in the central west of Victoria where his family had a flour milling business.

Following local primary schooling he went to Scotch College where he was dux, and then went on to a degree in electrical engineering at Melbourne University in 1931.

A Big Australian, he joined BHP as a cadet in 1933 at the Whyalla steelworks and worked his way through the ranks until becoming managing director in 1967 then chairman of BHP for 6 years between 1971 and 1977.

In the 50s, McLennan, a protege of Essington Lewis, recognised the role Australia and BHP could take in the rebirth of post-war Japan and acted on it by forging links with powerful businessmen and government officials to achieve his and the company's aims.

In 1960 BHP began prospecting for oil in Bass Strait and in 1967, with partner Esso, reported vast finds of oil and gas. This search had been an initiative of McLennan.

Ian McLennan was knighted in 1963.

He was a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1975 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science 1980.

Sir Ian also had a long business career with other companies such as Elders IXL and the ANZ Banking Group chairmanship between 1977 and 1982.

He was considered a strong-willed man who did not suffer fools but he was also a man who listened, and then acted decisively.

Sir Ian died on 25th October, 1998, aged 89.

Sir Ian will also be remembered by the annual Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Award.


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